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Harlingen CISD’s Secondary Alternative Center has just purchased new exercise equipment thanks to a $500 Innovative Teaching Grant awarded by the Harlingen Area Educational Foundation.

The fitness gear, consisting of exercise mats and medicine balls of various weights and sizes, will allow drill instructors to continue to provide excellent physical training – a component of the overall program at SAC geared toward encouraging students to achieve their long-term goals.

“This is an incredible benefit for our program here at SAC,” said principal Dan Araiza. “We are excited to put the equipment to use and thank the Harlingen Area Educational Foundation for their investment in our students.”

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After deliberating and reviewing a variety of grant applications, the HAEF board determined that SAC’s aim for the grant went hand in hand with the health and wellness initiatives at HCISD and would supply a deserving campus with much needed resources.

“This is a campus that we want to support because not a whole lot of people in the community are aware that this campus exists,” said Janine Marie Campbell. “We felt like this was an opportunity to reach out, touch the campus, and bring some awareness. These are kids that matter. They volunteer all over the community.”

In recent hurricane relief efforts, the students at SAC were among the first to heed the call for help. Campbell said that their level of respect and admiration for their instructors is exemplary and is owed to the culture promoted at the campus.

Secondary Alternative Center was formed in 1996 marking the transition from the Guidance Center to what is now SAC. Through the cooperative efforts of staff and administration, volunteers and community, the campus could provide an outstanding education and a strong physical training program to its students. The campus has had success in utilizing all the components necessary for student success such as the incorporation of vocational programs, a career & technology program and an intense counseling program. The campus was recognized by Jim Walsh in 2009 as a Model Disciplinary Alternative Education Program (DAEP).

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