Los Angeles Promise Neighborhood, Year 1



Josh Kamensky, 323-205-6634jkamensky@hersheycause.com

Adriana Zyskowski, 213-688-2802azyskowski@ypiusa.org





(Los Angeles, CA – June 12, 2014) Los Angeles civic and business leaders gathered with the Youth Policy Institute (YPI) at Pacoima City Hall to report that the first full school year of the Los Angeles Promise Neighborhood had gone above and beyond expectations in reaching out to the communities of Hollywood and Pacoima with wraparound cradle-to-college-and-career services.

“There’s no doubt about it—the Los Angeles Promise Neighborhood is planting the seeds of transformation in our communities,” said Los Angeles City Councilmember Felipe Fuentes. “By making sure that children and families throughout our neighborhoods can get the services they need in their schools and where they live, we are breaking the cycle of intergenerational poverty.”

“In one year I've already seen a lot of promises fulfilled,” said Los Angeles Unified School District Board Member Steve Zimmer. “Throughout East Hollywood and the East Valley, schools and communities are working with families in new and exciting ways. In new and exciting ways, dreams are coming true. I am proud that LAUSD is a Promise Neighborhood partner, and I am grateful to YPI for this opportunity.”

“The work YPI is doing will lift our children out of poverty,” said Board Member Monica Ratliff. “It will change our world.”

“This is how we create change,” said Dixon Slingerland, executive director of YPI, the lead agency for the LAPN. “Collaboration at every step, from school to community, from business to city and county services. We connect the dots, we reach out through families and organizations, and we don’t let a single kid fall through the cracks.”

Slingerland was joined by Stephanie Levin of LA n Sync and the Annenberg Foundation, which together played critical roles in assembling the coalition to win the original Promise Neighborhood award for Los Angeles, one of seven locations nationally. “The Promise Neighborhood brought together community partners for its application like we’ve never seen before,” said Levin. “It’s our number one example of what greater investment in Los Angeles can achieve.”

Slingerland reported on YPI’s accomplishments since the inauguration of the LAPN on July 1, 2013. They include:

  • Enrollment of and service provision to 20,577 residents within the Hollywood and Pacoima areas of the LAPN
  • 301 point increase in API scores in LAPN schools
  • 2,464 students received 86,842 hours of tutoring
  • Enrollment of 748 families in Families Save, resulting in $120,000 in savings and 9000 hours of financial literacy classes
  • Establishment of 2 community centers in Hollywood: YPI’s FamilySource Center and an LAUSD Alternative Education site/YPI public computer center
  • Establishment of 3 community centers in Pacoima: YPI’s YouthSource Center for out-of-school youth, a center at public housing complex San Fernando Gardens, and the new LAPN hub at YPI’s Pacoima office
  • Housing of an alternative high school for homeless youth inside the Hollywood FamilySource Center
  • Brokering of an historic data-sharing agreement with the City of Los Angeles’s Community Development Department, ensuring high quality services and programming are provided to communities in need
  • Cumulative establishment of 83 public computer centers throughout the Los Angeles region, 26 of which are within the LAPN

LAPN was created thanks to a $30 million U.S. Department of Education grant to provide cradle-to-college-and-career services for underserved children and their families in Hollywood and Pacoima. A signature initiative of the Obama administration, it falls under the umbrella of the White House Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative, which also includes the Promise Zone and the Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation grant.

A Pacoima resident spoke of the importance to her of the Los Angeles Promise Neighborhood Community Center. A frequent visitor, she has taken classes on computer literacy, ESL and domestic violence prevention. Her children use the center for afterschool programming and art classes. When the center faced budget cuts, she gathered petition signatures to protect the center’s critical child care offerings. “I feel more comfortable and intelligent,” she says. “I learned all the English I know right now, here, and I’m so happy with my computer classes.”

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The Los Angeles Promise Neighborhood (LAPN) is one of seven locations around the nation to be selected as an implementation site for the U.S. Department of Education’s Promise Neighborhoods program. A place-based model centered on education and integrated with a wide variety of wraparound services for children and their families was largely informed by the success of the Harlem Children’s Zone.

The Youth Policy Institute (YPI) transforms Los Angeles neighborhoods by ensuring access to high quality schools and wrap-around education and family services, enabling a successful transition from cradle-to-college-and-career. It is the lead agency for the Los Angels Promise Neighborhood initiative. YPI serves families through 125 program sites that offer place-based education and training services via afterschool programs, charter, pilot, and partnership schools, job training, summer jobs for youth, physical education, adult education, technology, case management, parenting, tutoring, and college preparation. Each year, YPI programs serve more than 100,000 youth and adults in Los Angeles. For more information, visit www.ypiusa.org.

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