Central High School

Central is the oldest public high school in Saint Joseph, Missouri, and one of the oldest in the state. Central was the second public high school in Missouri and the second oldest public high school west of the Mississippi. In March 1861, the District found it was necessary to open a high school. The school opened with forty students, who paid $1 a month each for tuition, but had to close its doors in June 1861 due to the Civil War. In October 1864, the high school reopened its doors. The school has been open now for 150 consecutive years. Located in the heart of our city, Central is home to approximately 150 homeless students. My hope for this grant would be to utilize the funds to improve the common areas to provide a comfortable, safe environment for our homeless students to enjoy as long as the facility is occupied each day. Many students stay late into the evening to take advantage of the warm in winter, the cool in summer, internet access to do homework and charging capabilities for the computers they are provided by the school. Transforming the common areas into a more college style d├ęcor would allow these homeless students to feel at home in our school even if it is just until the janitorial staff leaves for the evening. Another opportunity for improvement lies in expanding our food pantry which is available to all students in need. The ultimate goal is to make Central students feel safe and know that they have value no matter their socioeconomic status or living arrangements.

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