Fresno’s ACEL Charter School Selected to Receive Civic Learning Award of Distinction
Fresno, Ca. (September 11, 2015) Students and staff from the Academy for Civic and Entrepreneurial Leadership (ACEL) will travel to the Reagan Library to be recognized for exemplary civic learning and service in Fresno. The ACEL Charter School was selected to receive the Civic Learning Award of Distinction, co-sponsored by Chief Justice of California Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson. ACEL is one of 13 high schools in the state to receive this award and the first in Fresno County. They board a bus at 4am on Saturday (9/13) and return at 8:45pm.
Leaders of the California Task Force on K-12 Civic Learning will recognize the innovative project-based learning program at ACEL and students will lead a workshop for educators on how community service projects enhance civic learning. The 35 students and staff will also tour the Reagan Library.
Instruction at the Academy for Civic and Entrepreneurial Leadership (ACEL) emphasizes the real-world relevance of academic knowledge and skills, through service projects to improve the community. Service Learning connects meaningful community service with academic learning, personal growth, and civic responsibility. Students are inspired to renew the vision of the U. S. Founders and adapt it to the challenges and opportunities of the 21st Century. Students are empowered to become civic and entrepreneurial leaders.
Examples of ACEL Projects:
1. Students volunteer with Fresno Habitat for Humanity to support community events and
build a playground in Southwest Fresno.
2. Students volunteer for Green 360 Careers, a partnership with WestEd and PG&E.
Students map and share information on emerging green jobs, using a graphic information
3. Physics class students work with PG&E advisors to learn to do energy audits.
4. The Tribal Chair of the North Fork Mono Tribe leads students to work on watershed
restoration projects on the San Joaquin River.
5. Students built a vegetable garden in Chukchansi Stadium and give tours to demonstrate
how fans can grow their own food at home.
6. The ACEL Save Your Life team produced videos to inform teenagers about the dangers of depression, alcohol and drugs.
This project-based learning led to ACEL being awarded the Civic Learning Award of Distinction by the CA Department of Education. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said, “We honor the educators who translate civic education into creative and effective learning programs, thereby creating models for other educators, and we honor the students who participate in these active and inspiring learning communities.” The Academy for Civic and Entrepreneurial Leadership is a free public charter high school in downtown Fresno (www.acelfresno.org) operating under the Fresno Unified School District. The Academy of Civic and Entrepreneurial Leadership (ACEL) Charter High School is beginning its 7th year as a charter high school, serving students who seek an alternative to traditional education, preventing many dropouts. Last June they graduated 100% of their senior class.