The voice of California’s charter school movement

#ChartersGiveBack During the Holiday Season

By CCSA Staff

Charter public schools in California are considered pillars in their communities because they provide a high-quality education to students, wraparound services to families, and charitable events for all.

During the holiday season, many charters go above and beyond by expanding the reach of their heartfelt gestures -- both at home and across the globe.

As part of our annual #ChartersGiveBack roundup, we highlight some of the amazing good deeds of California charter public schools: 


Sending Socks, Gloves & Love to Ukraine

Gateway Community Charters (Sacramento)

Gateway Community Charters (GCC) has been a cornerstone of Sacramento area public education, offering different academic options to families for over 20 years. Currently, GCC has nine campuses — two if its schools are Community Outreach Academy Elementary School and Community Outreach Academy Middle School.

Recently, students and educators at both schools teamed up with Transforming Nations Ministries to participate in a humanitarian project called Socks and Gloves for Soldiers.

Many families at Community Outreach Academy Elementary and Middle schools have been affected by the war in Ukraine. To offer some support this holiday season, students at the two campuses collected socks, gloves, and other cold-weather essentials for Ukrainian soldiers on the frontline and those in need. Students also created handmade cards with messages of encouragement to accompany the care packages.

Ukraine donation


Felices Fiestas Returns for L.A.’s Most Vulnerable Families

Para Los Niños (Los Angeles)

Felices fiestas is the Spanish phrase for happy holidays! And Para Los Niños (PLN) is known for spreading lots of holiday cheer over the years.

PLN is a nonprofit organization that serves L.A.’s neediest children and families, placing education at the core of its work. Its charter public elementary school is a hub for the community. 

In keeping with tradition, PLN Elementary hosted the organization's annual holiday celebration for families with the highest needs across PLN's network of schools and support departments. 

Families and students were given free meals, donated food items, personal necessities, and toys. Families also had their pick of free clothing at a special “pop-up shop.”

The free items were donated by a host of local organizations, corporations, and caring individuals including Albertsons Companies Foundation, Branding LA, Bloomingdales, Blue Shield Promise, Centric Brands, Ellis George Cipollone, Fox HOLA, Friars Charitable Foundation, Kinecta Federal Credit Union, Los Angeles Chargers, Marriot, Netflix, Rhino Entertainment, and Ross.

PLN donate 2

PLN donate 1


Letters & Poinsettias for Families Affected by Cancer

Temecula International Academy (Temecula)

A hallmark of Temecula International Academy (TIA) is to enhance the social and emotional intelligence of its students through character development and intercultural understanding.

One way the school did that this holiday season was connecting students to individuals and families at Michelle's Place, a non-profit organization that provides free resources, services, and support to people affected by cancer.

Elementary students crafted personalized letters and get-well cards that brought a ray of sunshine and hope to their recipients. 

Michelle's Place relies on the continuous generosity of donors, grantors, and fundraising endeavors to deliver over 10,000 free services annually to cancer patients and their families.

With more than 23 diverse programs offered over 51 times each month, Michelle's Place provides a vital lifeline of assistance to the community, all free of charge.

In addition to the thoughtful letters and cards, TIA also donated over 50 vibrant Poinsettia plants to brighten the day of Michelle’s Place staff and visitors.

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Turkeys & Grocery Gift Cards 

Center for Advanced Learning (Los Angeles)

The Center for Advanced Learning (CAL) works hard every day to ensure its students are self-motivated learners with a sense of personal responsibility and respect for all human beings. CAL educators and staff set a good example by organizing and hosting charitable events for their neediest families throughout the year.

Recently, CAL raised $1,200 to provide 16 CAL families with a $70 gift card to Ralphs Supermarkets. Families were also given turkeys that were donated by local City Councilman Curren Price.

“Once again, we made a difference in the lives of our community with each of us opening our hearts and our wallets,” said Janet L. Bailey, CAL School and Community Liaison.

The families who received the donated items signed a Thank You card to show their appreciation.



Mexican Christmas Tradition Spreads Holiday Cheer

Rocketship Public Schools - Redwood City Prep (Redwood City)

Rocketship Redwood City Prep served-up free traditional Mexican Christmas foods to families and community members at its annual Las Posadas celebration, one of the school’s most popular events.

Las Posadas is a festival largely celebrated in Mexico commemorating the journey that Joseph and Mary made in search of a safe refuge.

Attendees enjoyed tasty treats like champurrados, buñuelos, and arroz con leche.

Children received free gifts and played games. The event also gave families the chance to promote their own local businesses and raise money for other families in need.

Rocketship Redwood City Prep staff say some families are experiencing homelessness right now.

Money raised by the school goes directly to helping those families through the school’s CareCorps Program. Every Rocketship school has designated a CareCorps of at least four educators who support the most vulnerable families at the school site.

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Raising Money with Ukulele Music

Achieve Charter School (Chico)

Every holiday season, Salvation Army bell ringers are stationed outside stores in hopes of raising money for those in need. 

In Chico, students at Achieve Charter School joined the cause by bringing the tropical sounds of Ukulele to raise money for the Salvation Army outside a local market. 

Achieve Charter School focuses on personalized learning, character development, and social-emotional wellbeing. Students can choose to take part in its Achieve Ukulele Club which is under the direction of teacher Lori Pine.

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>> We're looking for more #ChartersGiveBack stories! How is your charter public school giving back during this holiday season?

Send your school's press releases, social media posts, or images to