2014 Education Partnership Highlights / by David Franz

It has been a busy year, highlighted by the launch of the Shafter Learning Center in June. Here are a few of the big events.

  • Decision made to remodel the Shafter Library and create space for a new Learning Center rather than building new, saving more than $2 million.


  • The Learning Center opened in June, offering computer access, study space, and an average of 27 classes per week on everything from science to languages to typing.  The Center consistently attracts more than 500 visitors each week.    


  • The Library has also prospered under the new arrangement, adding twice as many new library users and increasing circulation by 10%. 
  • In December, the County reinvested some of the savings from the City's operation of the building to increase library service in Shafter from three to four days.

  • Little Library boxes sprung up all over town. Thanks to the efforts of many people (including: Lone Lollar, Jim Gloeckler, Walt Bergen, Melissa Bergen, the Shafter Mennonite Brethren Church, and faithful book donors) there are at least 13 well-stocked Little Libraries in Shafter.


  • Summer Reading Academies gave more than 200 first, second, and third grade students five weeks of intensive small-group reading instruction, increasing reading speed by an average of 10% and doubling the number of sight words the average student knew.
  • Since September, the Shafter High Tutoring Center has had a total of 2,802 student visits. Nearly half of the student body has visited at least once this year.  

2015 looks to be another year of making Shafter the best place for students to pursue their dreams of a better life through education. We have already announced a couple of new initiatives: 

  • In January, we are launching partnerships with both Bakersfield College (classes) and CSU Bakersfield (lecture series).
  • This will be the first year of the Advance Shafter Program, supporting high school students in Advanced Placement classes with additional tutoring, a $35 reduction of the AP test fee, and a cash reward for success on AP exams.  

Don't stop dreaming.  This is just the beginning.