Sunshine's Heritage

Riverside Unified School District
9390 California Ave
Riverside, CA 92503
(951) 352-8488
Monday-Friday 7:30- AM - 4:00PM

Sunshine's heritage dates back to 1947. On April 1st, a school for seven students, who had physical handicaps, opened as part of the Riverside City Schools. Enrollment, at the time, was limited to students with the diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy. Two classes began with Mildred Artiche as Principal and Helene Salerno, as the only teacher. A student named Wendy chose the winning name for Sunshine School. Mr. Thompson was one of the first Physical therapists at Sunshine. Sunshine was designed to provide physical and emotional therapy in addition to its educational and enrichment program. It was CCS, service clubs, Pan-Hellenic societies and philanthropic members of the community who raised money for Physical and Occupational therapy equipment, special events and the hot lunch program. The school has undergone many changes since its opening in 1947. It now employs roughly 60 staff members, houses a variety of programs and has approximately 300 students. Sunshine began in a federal housing project building, which has been remodeled twice in 1961. In 1994, the school became a site for children from birth to five years of age. Today, Sunshine Early Childhood Center now services children with all disabilities including the severely profound, Down’s Syndrome, cerebral palsy, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Speech and Language Impairment. In addition, Sunshine also houses a Head Start/State Preschool program for low-income children.