Students engaged in hands-on science, nutrition and literacy programming based on gardening; funded by Astellas USA Foundation.
The Para Los Niños Early Education program provides services to young children (ages six weeks through entry into kindergarten) and their families in 6 locations in the greater Los Angeles area. Our program is designed to promote optimal child development, foster critical thinking, spark curiosity, promote inquiry and heighten parental involvement. Our goal is to create early learning environments that enable children to develop the skills to be the best they can be now, throughout their school careers and in life.
Our work with the very young, and their families, continues to anchor our work and is the foundation for relationships with many of our families. The past year has seen a continued focus on building the capacity of our early education team, which is of particular importance despite operating in a time of limited public support for early education.
Our Head Start program participated in a Federal Review that focused on Teacher-Child Interactions—where Program Quality was assessed by Federal Reviewers using the CLASS measure (classroom learning assessment system)—and found our teachers performing at or above National Standards.
Three Head Start preschools (Hollywood, Perlita and Magnolia sites) received GrowingGreat curriculum—hands-on science, nutrition and literacy programming based in gardening and funded by Astellas USA Foundation. GrowingGreat, is an organization that provides STEM experiences to inspire students to become scientists, engineers, farmers and chefs, partnered with us to help introduce our students to this level of education.Together, the program serves 1,400 inner-city young students, siblings and families in neighborhoods where the average household income is $16,607.The partnership was kicked off with a dedication ceremony and opening of the Astellas STEM Garden.
Festivities concluded with the students releasing dozens of ladybugs throughout the garden, which they learned will help keep their garden safe from the plant-eating bugs.
Today, we serve nearly 500 children from infancy through age five at our preschools, with 75-80% of the student body meeting or exceeding their developmental expectations.