Best Start Metro L.A.

Para Los Niños creates sustainable, organized community partnerships that maintain healthy and safe neighborhoods for children and families.

Parent Engagement

Para Los Niños understands the vital role that parents play in ensuring their children’s success in school and their overall community, this is why it has made school and community transformation through parent engagement a core component of its mission and strategic plan. Together with high quality education and integrated support services, parent engagement and leadership development helps close the achievement gap, particularly English language learners living in chronic poverty.

Through the collaborative support of Charter School leadership, First 5 LA and the Department of Public Health, Para Los Niños is actively involved in creating the space for developing local leaders to build their capacities toward leadership, school and civic engagement and local grass-roots governing.

At our Charter Schools there are specific spaces dedicated for parent education, planning and leadership around English Language Learning and School Governance through our School Side Councils and English Language Advisory Committees, as well as opportunities for parents to build their educational, literacy and volunteer capacities to support their children in school.

Additionally, within the community there are specific spaces where parents/residents bring their knowledge and experiences to learn and practice local leadership, advocacy, institutional capacity building, local policy development and resident engagement with the goal of community transformation to support the lives of children 0-5 and improved nutritional outcomes in their communities through Best Start Metro LA and Senderos, respectively.

Our Efforts Include:

Local Control and Accountability Plan:
As part of the Local Control Funding Formula, school districts, county offices of education and charter schools in California are required to develop, adopt, and annually update a three-year Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP). This plan is used to identify annual goals, specific actions, and measure progress for student subgroups across multiple performance indicators, including student academic achievement, school climate, student access to a broad curriculum, and parent engagement, among others. School districts and charter schools are required to obtain parent and public input in developing, revising and updating the LCAP.

More than 1,100 children are enrolled in three community-based charter schools serving grades K-8. Students receive a quality education, a range of wraparound services and after school programs. Parents have opportunities to volunteer and participate in English Learning Advisory Committees (ELAC) and School Site Councils (SSC).

Senderos (Pathways)—Nutrition:
Consistent with our PLN focus on supporting the health and development of the whole child, the Senderos Team’s work focuses on nurturing healthy environments for students and their families where they live, learn, work, and play. We understand the importance of promoting health through education, collaborating with others, and implementing policies that will promote healthy food and lifestyle choices. With support from the Department of Public Health, we focus much of our school-based community engagement work on promoting: healthier eating; more physical activity; drinking more water and fewer sugary drinks, and using CalFresh benefits to buy healthier foods for home.

Specific activities will include:

  • Creating site-specific visions for healthy school communities
  • Engaging school staff, parents and children in conversations about how healthy eating and physical activity are important to student success.
  • Supporting school site staff in creating school sites where healthy food choices are promoted and incentivized
  • Bringing site-based nutrition education workshops to parents
  • Bringing site-based physical fitness workshops to parents
  • Inviting parents and staff to participate in health task forces.
    • Task forces will move the health vision forward and support school-wide activities related to healthy eating and exercise

Best Start Metro LA:
Best Start Metro LA (BSMLA) is a community partnership made up of over 450 community residents and agency representatives who come together to discuss strengths and needs in their communities, identify priorities, and mobilize to create community changes that help improve the lives of children and their families. Parents and residents strengthen and develop their leadership skills by participating in the BSMLA Leadership Development Workshop Series and in the weekly Neighborhood Leadership Groups (NLGs).

In the BSMLA Leadership Development Workshops, parents and residents build and strengthen their skills in:

  • Community Leadership Styles
  • Collective Decision Making
  • Advocacy
  • Communications
  • Action Plan
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Evaluation

At the Neighborhood Leadership Group Meetings, residents:

    • Lead their own meetings
    • Build and strengthen leadership skills
    • Create social connections
    • Connect to family and community resources
    • Design and implement community plans

The Neighborhood Leadership Groups meet on the following days, times and locations:

Neighborhood Leadership Group Day Time Location Contact Person
Alianza Magnolia Friday 3:00pm - 5:30pm Pico Union Vest Pocket Park 1827 S. Hoover St. Los Angeles, CA 90006 Raquel Santos (213) 413-1466 Ext. 427
Ambassador(A) Wednesday 8:30am - 10:00am Francis Community Garden 2909 Francis Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90005 Denise Serrette (213) 413-1466 Ext. 412
Angeles Wednesday 10:30am - 12:00pm Francis Community Garden 2909 Francis Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90005 Blanca Valdez (213) 413-1466 Ext. 408
Estrella Thursday 8:30am - 10:30am Norwood Elementary School 2020 Oak St. Los Angeles, CA 90007 Blanca Valdez (213) 413-1466 Ext. 408
Hope Street Monday 10:00am - 12:00pm Hope Street Margolis Family Ctr. 1600 S. Hope St. Los Angeles, CA 90015 Raquel Santos (213) 413-1466 Ext. 427
Richardson Park Thursday 9:00am - 11:00am Richardson Family Park 2700 S. Budlong Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90007 Raquel Santos (213) 413-1466 Ext. 427
San Pedro / All Peoples Tuesday 9:00am - 11:00am All Peoples Community Center 822 E. 20th St. Los Angeles, CA 90011 Denise Serrette (213) 413-1466 Ext. 412
Universal Dream Team Wednesday 9:15am - 11:15am Menlo Family Apartments 1230 S. Menlo Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90006 Denise Serrette (213) 413-1466 Ext. 412
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