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Kingsville ISD uses old elementary school to show students how much they 'CARE'

Marco Contreras is a teacher for the 'CARE' program, and sees the development of his students first hand.

KINGSVILLE, Texas — The sound of a school bell is once again echoing through the halls of what used to be Kleberg Elementary in Kingsville.

The campus on North 6th Street has since been repurposed to house the district's 'CARE' program.

The ‘CARE’ program was created to give students a second chance to achieve their high school education.

One such student being 19-year old Devon Wright. 

"I was very determined to leave and drop out and go and work. Nowadays you need a GED or high school diploma to get somewhere," Wright said. 

Back in school and studying to achieve his GED, Wright said he only had around eleven credits left till he could graduate. 

"this was the perfect program because you can just speed through things you need,” Wright said. 

However, Wright is not the only individual to see the benefits of the ‘CARE’ program. Marco Contreras is a teacher for the program, and sees the development of his students first hand. 

"CARE is credit, attendance, recovery, education, and what we do here is help students of all facets from freshman to senior year,” Contreras said. 

According to Contreras the program is already starting to rapidly benefit students. 

"Kids that were at the bottom, we called them back.  They only needed four-to-five credits to graduate, and they tell us this changed their life. The proof is in the pudding,” Contreras said. 

The program allows for flexible classroom instruction. Additionally the course material is tailored to each student's learning pace. 

The district is offering the program at an additional location on the campus of what was once Kleberg Elementary.

Superintendent of Kingsville ISD, Dr. Cissy Reynolds-Perez said she wanted to put the old campus to good use. 

"When it was time for us to consolidate campuses, we wanted to make sure the Alice Kleberg Elementary would be repurposed, and transformed to something that could really serve the community," Perez said.

The school is now named the Kleberg Early Childhood Literacy and Continuing Education Center.

Perez said the campus acts as a hub in a number of ways to support the students. Whether that includes supplying food, clothing or even helping students who have children of their own.

"They can attend the CARE program and earn their diploma while their own children are getting service through early literacy through the Head Start program," Perez said. 

District leaders said it's all about making it as convenient as possible to ensure students have what they need to focus on their education.

Currently 15 students have returned to earn their diploma since the new center opened this school year.

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