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Phoenix charter school for homeless gets new campus

The new Children's First Academy in Phoenix is shown. (KTAR Photo/Bob McClay)

PHOENIX -- A school that's been helping needy children for about five years is moving into some new digs in Phoenix.

Kids led the Pledge of Allegiance Friday as the Children's First Academy opened its new 52,000-square-foot campus near 16th Street and Buckeye.

The school had previously been able to serve about 300 students at its old campus. The new school will house over 500 kindergarten through 9th-grade students. It will eventually grow to be a kindergarten through 12th-grade school.

Academy Executive Director Sharyn Logue said the school offers a lot.

"It is going to allow children to have the complete use of a multi-purpose room, a science lab, a computer center, a full library, as well as a newly-designed food and clothing room," she said.

Logue said the students are special.

"The vast majority of our children are homeless, and 100 percent of them live below the poverty line," she said. "Our job is to give them a high-quality education so that they can break the cycle of homelessness and poverty."

Donations from the Arizona Diamondbacks and other businesses help the charter school offer its services.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I am married to my wife Rene', who is a librarian in the Washington school district. During free time, I may be found playing basketball in the driveway with my son, Devin. He's also keeping me busy with school, Little League, and playing in chess tournaments around the Valley.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: Doug Oldham gospel concert in the 1970s at the old East High School in Phoenix.

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Northern Hills Community Church in Phoenix. We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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