BAKERSFIELD - A local program is helping change the lives of young students, dealing with learning and social disabilities.
The program is called 'SEAL' and staff at The Rafer Johnson School in downtown Bakersfield are working with dozens of students to help transition them into a standard classroom, an environment they aren't familiar with.
"Aww it's heavy, too," said Deshawn Taylor, who showed off his new binder Wednesday morning, filled with school supplies.
But, he wasn't the only one who was excited.
"I got tracing paper, a notepad, color pencils and I got two light highlighters," said student Mary-Rebecca Mckee.
For these kids, having a backpack with basic supplies, isn't common.
The students are part of the SEAL program at Rafer Johnson School and suffer from severe social and emotional issues.
Staff says the students' learning disabilities make it hard for them to function in a regular classroom setting, but hope by the end of the year they'll be able to.
"They want to come to school. Where they come from, they didn't want to be at school. We would go to the homes and get the children to bring them to school and now we don't have to. They get on the bus and they come to school," said Rebecca Ruiz, SEAL Program Administrator.
On Wednesday, the Bakersfield Breakfast Rotary donated school supplies for the 45 students in the program.
"You just know how grateful they're going to be and it just makes you proud to be part of a group that's helping in a way that nobody else was," said Susan Ferguson, Bakersfield Breakfast Rotary.
"I'm going to have a smile on my face all day long. To see the excitement and their eyes get really big and pick out the special folders of the boy rock band, it's just a really great feeling," said Denise Haynes, Bakersfield Breakfast Rotary.
A feeling these students finally get to experience.
The students go shoe shopping next week.
Staff says the field trip will help the kids with their social issues.