August 18, 2000
Los Angeles Continuing his commitment to higher expectations and improving access to higher education for all students, Governor Davis Today dedicated a new charter high school created to prepare immigrant students for college and future leadership roles.
"In this season of choosing leaders, it is important to recognize the role that a top-quality education plays in preparing leaders to serve their communities," Governor Davis said. "I share Animo Charter High School's commitment to high standards for all students and dedication to community service."
The governor presented a ceremonial check for $250,000 from the state's Charter School Revolving Loan Fund to help launch Animo Charter High School, where classes will begin August 21 on the campus of the University of West Los Angeles. In his 2000-01 budget, Governor Davis provided a one-time $25 million endowment to the Charter School Revolving Loan Fund to grant five-year loans of up to $250,000 for startup charter schools this year and in future years.
Animo, which means "spirit" in Spanish, was founded through the efforts of Steve Barr, activist-founder of "Rock the Vote" and President of Green Dot Public Schools, Lennox community residents, school district teachers and officials, and Loyola Marymount University educators. The school will provide laptop computers for each student with the help of Apple Computer, and students will have access to free transportation through a grant from the Oscar De La Hoya Foundation.
"Animo Leadership High School is nothing less than the fulfillment of a dream for the people of this community," said Governor Davis. "For the State of California, Animo is further evidence that we are at the forefront of the charter school movement in America."
Animo students, mostly from immigrant families without college-educated role models, will be given a rigorous curriculum designed to prepare them for four-year colleges and universities.
Emphasis will be placed on developing leadership skills and participation in community service. Animo's school year will exceed the Lennox School District schedule by 20 days and students are required to attend the entire year. Students interested in attending Animo have committed to doing an additional two hours of schoolwork daily. Tutoring and monitoring services will be provided until 5 p.m. daily.
Animo's inaugural class of 2004 will conduct an education and outreach campaign to provide health coverage for the students and families in the Lennox School District. Blue Cross of California State Sponsored Programs is contributing $10,000 to the Animo Leadership High School Class of 2004 Legacy Project Fund.
California is home to more than 300 charter schools. Animo will primarily serve the Lennox community of Los Angeles, which is mostly composed of recent and first-generation immigrants from Mexico and Central and South America countries.