Girls Inc. of Greater Santa Barbara is pleased to open the doors to its Goleta Valley & Teen Center located at 4973 Hollister Avenue to provide temporary residence to the Laguna Blanca Lower School students and teachers displaced by the recent mudslides in Montecito. The Girls Inc. facility has the necessary classroom space as well as an auditorium, full-sized gymnasium, commercial kitchen, art studio, science lab, library, and generous outdoor play space.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of lives, homes, injuries, and the disruption of school and services our community is experiencing,” says Girls Inc. of Greater Santa Barbara CEO Barbara Ben-Horin. “Girls Inc. is pleased to help by sharing our Goleta Valley Center with the teachers, students, and families of Laguna Blanca’s Lower School for as long as necessary as our community begins to heal.”
Classes are scheduled to begin at Goleta Valley later in January. Until then, classes will be held on the school’s Hope Ranch campus, which occupies students in Grades 5-12. Girls Inc. after-school programs will not be impacted by the sharing of the space.
“We are incredibly grateful for the graciousness of Girls Inc. and their willingness to accommodate our students and faculty during this unfortunate displacement,” says Laguna Blanca Head of School Rob Hereford.
Laguna staff and Girls Inc. staff are working to prepare the Goleta space for Laguna’s students—many of whom are evacuees.
“Our goal is to continue to provide a comprehensive, well-rounded education in a comfortable, age-appropriate setting,” says Laguna’s Head of Lower School Andy Surber. “Right now, returning to the routine of school and learning with friends and teachers is important for our student community. We are so thankful for the kindness and generosity shown to us by Kristina Webster, Girls Inc. Director of Programs, and the faculty and staff at Girls Inc. who are sharing their spaces with us.”