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Calif. School District Offers Parents 'Second Chance' With Free College Classes

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Hayward Unified School District in Hayward, Calif., will turn some of its schools into college campuses on weekends and evenings for parents.

A five-year $22.5 million state grant is funding the district's "Second Chance Education" program, which will provide classes and books to 100 parents for free, according to a story in the Daily Review, which is based in Hayward. The priority will be to enroll parents who would be the first in their families to attend college.

Hayward Unified is working on a partnership with California State University East Bay and Chabot Community College, both located in Hayward, Calif., to provide the classes this fall, according to the story. The district, which serves about 20,000 students in the San Francisco Bay area south of Oakland, will use the grant to pay for child care at the schools as well.

"Parents shared with us they want to get their education so they can better support their children, both academically and financially," Chien Wu-Fernandez, a Hayward Unified spokeswoman, told the Daily Review. "We just had to figure out a way to make it happen."

The California Department of Education's 21st Century Community Learning Centers program awarded the grant to the district, which will use some of those funds to increase student enrollment in its after-school enrichment program that allows students to take college courses at district schools.

The Daily Review reports that middle school students will now be able to earn college credits in the program, which previously limited enrollment to high school students. About 1,500 more students will participate in Hayward Unified's after-school enrichment program, which will serve a total 4,500 students at 14 elementary schools in 2014-2015. 

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