MLK Celebrated: LAEP Community Schoolraises the bar in South LA

MLK Celebrated:  LAEP Community Schoolraises the bar in South LA
In just three hours on Martin Luther King Day, a group of 450 committed volunteers: students, teachers, parents, business professionals, and community advocates gave some polish to Edison Middle School one of six LAEP Partner Schools in South LA that is a model Community School.   They painted the kickball field and lunch line, wiped down the classrooms and hallways, and wrote individual letters to young patients at Children’s Hospital.
Lua Masumi, LAEP’s Community School Coordinator at Edison, praised all the volunteers and gave special thanks to the planning, organization and community outreach of the AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers working at LAEP Partner school sites: Paloma Garcia, Nancy Gutierrez, Ciani Nunez, and Beatrice Tello. The VISTAS brought high school student volunteers who led activities and kept the younger kids engaged. By all accounts the day was labeled a huge success, especially judging by the huge number of smiling faces of all ages.
LAEP is a local, state and national leader in the development of Community Schools. As a lead agency in a new 5-year U.S. Department of Education Full-Service Community School grant awarded in October, LAEP will continue to partner with LAUSD, UMMA Medical Clinic, UCLA School of Dentistry and others, adding community school coordinators and increased health services to LAEP’s Early Head Start partners Miramonte, Parmelee and 75th Street Elementary Schools.  For the next five years, the project will draw on the strengths of the community to reduce barriers to learning, increase learning opportunities, improve students’ health and well-being, and support parents’ role in education.
MLK once stated, Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’  If you would like to volunteer in one of LAEP’s Partner/Community School sites please join us at our OPEN HOUSE March 10 from 8-10 am in our new home at the Los Angeles Times Building.  Come meet our staff, partners and volunteers and learn about the many ways you can get involved.  For further information contact Tina Demirdjian at (213) 622-5237 or email at tdemirdjian@laep.org.
LAEP is also grateful to supporters who have helped develop and expand its community schools: The Carol and James Collins Foundation, Ford Foundation, W.M Keck Foundation, Roth Family Foundation, Stuart Foundation, United Way of Greater Los Angeles, and the U.S. Department of Education.