Charlie Keyan Donates $685,000 to Armenian Community School of Fresno

FRESNO–Philanthropist Charlie Keyan has donated $685,000 to the Armenian Community School of Fresno towards the purchase of a 2.3 acre lot in Clovis. “It’s my hope that the new site will encourage greater community support in this worthy and important institution,” said Keyan in a telephone interview. ACSF Board Chairman Jerry Kutumian announced the news on Saturday at the school’s Annual Banquet, held at the Holy Trinity Armenian Apostolic Church. The school, which is currently celebrating its 30th anniversary, will be moving to the new location in the Fall. Keyan’s commitment to the ACSF dates back to 2004 when he established the $100,000 Charlie Keyan Scholarship Fund, which supports the continued enrollment of students on financial assistance. His interest in the school stems from his own Fresno roots. Born and raised in Fresno, he attended Fresno State College in the 1940s, playing halfback for the Bulldog football squad during the 1945 season. After graduating with a degree in Physical Education and a teaching credential, he opted to move to Southern California where he worked for the Lockheed Corporation and farmed grapes in the Coachella Valley. Though not official as yet, the ACSF educational board plans to change the name of the school to the “Charlie Keyan Armenian Community School” in honor of the unprecedented donation. The ACSF has rented the facilities at the Saint Therese Catholic Church since 2001, when it moved from its long-time home at Weldon and Fresno streets in the central part of town. “We think the new location will attract more students, since the most Armenian families live in northern Fresno or Clovis. Mr. Keyan’s generous donation gives us the financial resources to develop a permanent school site that will be source of community pride for years to come,” said one board member. ACSF officials envision that a new campus–complete with classrooms, auditorium, and offices–will be built within the next 5 years. Until then, the school will be housed in temporary structures and an assembly hall that currently occupies the lot. Since 1976, the ACSF has provided its students with a superior primary education. Each year, grades 1 through 6 collectively rank in the upper 20 percentile on the Sanford Nine Achievement Test, which measures aptitude in reading, language arts, mathematics, science, and social science, and individual scores of several students are among the highest in the state. In addition to Armenian language and history instruction, the school offers instrumental and choral music as part of its basic curriculum. For more information about the school, contact Principal Rosie Bedrosian at 559-233-1800.

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