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The Matt Garcia Learning Center has been established to honor the youngest City Council Member in the history of Fairfield. As a young person, Matt was consumed with the notion that youth violence could be stemmed in favor of community involvement and service. He passionately believed in the ability of all youth to turn away from violence and towards a productive, positive lifestyle. To that end, Matt worked tirelessly with schools in the community and fostered a resurgence of the Youth Commission in the City of Fairfield. Matt was an inspiration to all who knew him.
As a sad irony, on September 1, 2008, Matt Garcia was murdered in a tragic case of mistaken identity, a victim of the senseless violence he fought so hard to eliminate. His death has brought about a new commitment to make something meaningful out of Matt’s death by furthering his cause of community service and violence prevention and reduction.
An important part of the movement towards reclaiming our youth for productive, positive lifestyles is the establishment of the Matt Garcia Learning Center. The Center will provide a nurturing environment for our students whose behavioral issues have prevented their success in a comprehensive setting. Serving youth from grades 2-12, students and their families will receive access to a rigorous academic program delivered by highly qualified, dedicated, and specially trained teachers. We will also receive support from our many community partners and agencies including, but not limited to, social services, health, law enforcement, probation, faith-based organizations, and local businesses. Special Education and English Learner services will be provided as needed. Smaller classes and a low student to adult ratio will allow for the formation of meaningful relationships and academic support. Starting with a school capacity of 150 students, it is anticipated that the program will grow over time.
The Center location itself will serve as a hub for community services, bringing providers together with those in need. The student day will extend beyond classroom hours. Tutoring, credit acceleration/recovery programs, extracurricular activities provided by the Police Athletic League and faith-based agencies, and counseling services will all be provided as needed and desired. The entire family will be involved in the successful completion of the program.
The Matt Garcia Learning Center is founded on the understanding that it takes a whole village to raise a child and on Matt’s strong belief that any person can turn his or her life around with hard work, dedication, and the support of a caring community. We can think of no greater honor to Matt’s memory than to dedicate a school committed to helping students resolve behavioral issues, claim strong academic standing, and to serve their community.
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