Taking an active role in the community

Students at Fusion Academy and Learning Center helped the community by cleaning up the beach just in time for summer.

"I thought that if I join in, my friends can join in and we can help clean the beaches," said 10th-grader Asher Dobbins.

Asher, 15, and about eight more students from the academy took on the project May 13 as a first step toward a more active role in the community, said Josh Huihui, who teaches math, science and Japanese at the academy.

"I think it's an important aspect for them to engage in the community because it helps with their learning experience," Huihui said. "It gives them a connection to the real world."

Not all of Fusion Academy's students are from Huntington Beach. They come from as far as San Clemente to the school, which provides one-on-one instruction, Huihui said. It is why familiarizing them with Huntington Beach began at the pier downtown.

"We wanted to teach them about the history and the special things about Huntington Beach — the beach culture and how everybody congregates around this area," Huihui said.

Although it's not required by the school, more activities are planned. Huihui said he's working on getting the students out for whale-watching and gardening, among other things, because "sticking their heads in textbooks all day isn't the way to go."

Asher said cleaning the beach was a great experience for him.

"It was really fun to get out with friends and help clean the environment," he said. "It was just a fun and productive experience for the whole school."

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