LOS ANGELES:- On Thursday, June 24th, the L.A. Education Recovery Fund, a collective philanthropic effort, announced raising nearly $10 million in initial funding to support the recovery of low-income students disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in Los Angeles. The L.A. Education Recovery Fund is a multi-year initiative with an immediate focus on increasing access to summer enrichment programs by investing $7 million in nonprofit organizations offering quality, in-person programming.
“The playing field was unlevel before the pandemic, and now the opportunity gap is wider than ever,” said Ana Campos, President and Executive Director of After-School All-Stars, a recipient of the L.A. Education Recovery Fund summer grants, “With the support of the L.A. Education Recovery Fund, we are able to provide more children access to the educational, enrichment and emotional services they need to recover.”
Given the unprecedented impacts of the pandemic on low-income students, this is an important summer to provide students the opportunity to play, reconnect with their peers in-person, engage in enrichment activities, start catching up academically, and receive social emotional support to begin the process of recovery. That is why the L.A. Education Recovery Fund partnered with the Los Angeles Unified School District and local nonprofits to provide low-income students in-person, joy-filled experiences during this critical summer. The L.A. Education Recovery Fund will support 55 nonprofits delivering quality, in-person programming across Los Angeles with the goal of 50,000 students benefiting this summer.
“Our kids in L.A. public schools are among those who have borne the brunt of a pandemic that laid bare and deepened the inequities that exist in our city and in our country. The L.A. Education Recovery Fund is an opportunity to step up and surround them with the support they need,” said Kate Capshaw and Steven Spielberg, who committed the first $1 million in funding. “L.A.’s kids are resilient and if we rally behind them, in partnership with families, educators and communities, we can do our part to help them get back on track.”
In addition to receiving financial contributions, the L. A. Education Recovery Fund has collaborated with Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Earn, Learn, Play initiative, Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles, California Community Foundation, Greater LA Education Foundation, LA 84 Foundation, and Play Equity Fund to maximize efforts and ensure all Los Angeles youth are able to access opportunities this summer to get back on a path to lead opportunity-filled lives.
“It’s inspiring and powerful to see the whole city coming together to support our students,” said LAUSD Board Vice President, Nick Melvoin. “The L.A. Education Recovery Fund’s investments in these vital enrichment opportunities is expanding equitable access to the fun, joyful summer experience that all our kids need after such a difficult school year”
“Our children need on-going opportunities for fun, learning and connection,” said Julee Brooks, CEO of Woodcraft Rangers, an L.A. Education Recovery Fund grantee providing enrichment this summer, “We are inspired and committed to continue engaging in a multi-year effort to collectively support the full recovery of our children.”
Following the initial focus on in-person summer enrichment programs, the L.A. Education Recovery Fund will turn to tutoring, college and career access, after-school programs and mental health supports during the school year to address the ongoing and exacerbated disparities in academic outcomes for Black and brown students and the social-emotional aftereffects of a year of social isolation, family economic challenges, and shocking numbers of COVID-19 related deaths in low-income communities.
“The last 15 months and effects of the pandemic were incredibly challenging for our kids,” said Dr. Ana Ponce, the Executive Director of Great Public Schools Now, who manages the L.A. Education Recovery Fund. “There has never been a more important time to invest in our students. Funding these summer enrichment programs is a necessary initial step towards a long recovery effort for students in Los Angeles.”
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