Work day scheduled at Rising Sun
by PI Staff
May 09, 2013 | 839 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Community members are invited to don their work clothes, grab a hammer and help transform part of Rising Sun School into a working farm and community center Saturday, May 11.

Patterson Joint Unified School District is hosting the work day from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the school, at Spencer and Welty roads, in Vernalis.

Members of Patterson Lions Club will barbecue a tri-tip lunch for volunteers.

Rising Sun sits on 12 acres of land, and the work day is the district’s first step in developing it into a working farm and outdoor education center and revitalizing the kitchen and cafeteria as a community center.

In recent years, Rising Sun has been the site of an adult transition program serving students age 18 to 22 in the district’s severely handicapped classes.

In the future, there will be opportunities for those in the program to grow and harvest crops they can sell. Nikyra Calcagno, director of the adult transition program, is also developing a lavender field that will be used to manufacture lavender products.

“With the generous support of our community partners, the Transition to Success Program is working to create self-sustaining, site-based employment opportunities that will enable the young men and women enrolled in the program to develop the foundational skills necessary to become contributing citizens in their communities,” Calcagno said this week in an e-mail.

Plans for the site include a place elementary students can visit during field trips and an area where Patterson High School FFA members can work with Rising Sun students to grow plants and flowers for floral design classes.

Rising Sun School, founded in 1870, served students in the Westley and Vernalis areas as part of Patterson Joint Unified School District until its closure in May 2009.

The campus reopened in August 2010 and provides job training and life skills instruction for disabled students up to 22 years old.

Contact Maddy Houk at 892-6187, ext. 22, or

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