New LA County Summer Learning Initiative
Designed to Serve Vulnerable TK-12 Students at Risk of Learning Loss
LOS ANGELES (June 11, 2020) – A new collaborative effort to support extended learning opportunities for low-income and vulnerable TK-12 students this summer called LA County Summer Learning Initiative was announced today. The region’s education leaders, including the California Community Foundation (CCF), together with the LA County Office of Education (LACOE) and the Greater LA Education Foundation (Greater LA), have come together to ensure students receive the support they need in the upcoming months.
Together, CCF and Greater LA will grant at least $1 million towards these efforts.
The closure of schools for the COVID-19 crisis has deepened a divide along racial and socioeconomic lines for the County’s young people. Many of our students and families have faced enormous hurdles in gaining equal access to education and support as highlighted in a Beyond the Schoolhouse report published last year by UCLA. The murder of George Floyd and subsequent protests further focused attention on the need to support our Black youth and other minority students.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has both highlighted and exacerbated existing inequalities within the education and youth development systems,” said CCF president & CEO Antonia Hernández. “Given the extended physical closures of schools and youth-serving community centers, there is an increased need for responsive summertime learning environments.”
All students in general experience learning loss over the summer. COVID-19-focused research suggests that students in some grades may return in fall 2020 nearly a full year behind what we would expect in normal conditions. “Summer slide” is worse for high-need student populations, from low-income foster youth to English learners to students with disabilities, as they are less likely than their higher income peers to have enriching opportunities over the summer.
Summer programs that can mitigate potential learning loss and address the social-emotional needs of youth are especially needed as students across our region have experienced months of disrupted in-class engagement with their peers.
CCF, Greater LA and LACOE also recognize that many nonprofits and school-based summer programs are experiencing losses in revenue that may threaten the availability of summer learning programs, while also facing new potential costs such as expanded technology infrastructure and associated training.
“Education leaders must use this moment as a turning point to bring about real change in our approach to race and equity. But we can’t do it alone,” said Los Angeles County Superintendent of Schools Debra Duardo. “The summer learning initiative is a shining example of the power of partnerships. Working together is the only way we can truly stop persistent educational inequities and ensure a brighter tomorrow for our at-promise youth.”
The upcoming programs must be administered by a TK-12 school (including independent schools and public charters) and/or a nonprofit organization. Preference will be given to collaborations between nonprofit and schools as partners. Grants amounts are expected to range from $25,000 – $100,000 each, with consideration given to the number of youth served and the frequency and duration of the program model. Application information available at www.calfund.org/la-county-summer-learning-initiative/
Resources are made possible through the CCF COVID-19 LA County Response Fund, The Greater LA Education Foundation, and the generous support of donors and philanthropic partners.
For more information about supporting the LA County Summer Learning Initiative, please contact Valerie Cuevas at the California Community Foundation: vcuevas [@] calfund [.] org.
Questions from potential grantee partners and applications should be directed to youthdevelopment [@]calfund [.] org.
California Community Foundation
LA County Office of Education
The Greater LA Education Foundation (Greater LA) is the philanthropic arm of the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE). Greater LA was formed in 2019 to increase collective problem-solving and innovative solutions for today’s complex learning environments. Our mission advances a deeper collaboration between schools and communities to disrupt inequity and meet the needs of today’s diverse learners across Los Angeles County. Additional information is available at www.greaterlaedfund.org/.
The California Community Foundation (CCF) has served as a public, charitable organization for Los Angeles County since 1915. Its mission is to lead positive systemic change that strengthens Los Angeles communities. CCF manages 1,700 charitable foundations, funds and legacies.