Para Los Niños


Excellent Education. Powerful Families. Strong Communities.

Letter from the CEO & Board of Directors Chair
Dear Para Los Niños Supporters –
We hope this message finds you safe and healthy. Thank you for being part of the Para Los Niños community – especially this year.
In January, we started the year with much excitement for our 40th Anniversary. We had been looking forward to 2020 as an opportunity to reflect on the impact we have had over the decades and to celebrate those who have helped us reach this milestone year. While 2020 presented challenges none of us could have ever imagined, it has brought into focus the strength of our organization, the remarkable ability of our staff to pivot as needed, and the critical role you play as donors.
It is a great privilege to be a longstanding part of LA’s non-profit community, and with our experience and leadership, it is not a responsibility we take lightly. We are proud to be a trusted partner with our families, some of whom have been involved with PLN over multiple generations.
In this annual report, you will read about the children, families, staff and partners who have been a part of our impact and growth over the years, including an incredible story from an alumna in one of our first classes on Skid Row in 1980. There are tens of thousands of these stories across our great city, and each is an inspiring example of the profound importance of our work and of your continued support of the children, youth and families of Para Los Niños.
The coronavirus pandemic massively impacted our operations and the communities we serve. Because the majority of our parents work hourly jobs in service industries and production factories, the pandemic found many of them out of work, or in work conditions with great risk of contracting the virus. How our organization pivoted in this time is the story of Para Los Niños.
We are here for the children, youth and families we serve, in good times and bad. We stand by, with and for our families and with your help in the year ahead, we will continue to ensure that those we serve thrive regardless of what is happening outside our doors.
Thank you for being part of our family.
Drew Furedi
Drew Furedi
President & CEO
Drew Furedi
Marjorie Ehrich Lewis, Board Chair
Marjorie Ehrich Lewis
Board of Directors, Chair
Quick Jumps

It is a great privilege to be a longstanding part of LA’s non-profit community, and with our experience and leadership, it is not a responsibility we take lightly.

- Drew Furedi, President & CEO

Our COVID-19 Response
In March, when COVID-19 forced us to close our sites, we quickly found even more ways to be there for our families.
Who We Are
We believe in the children, youth, and families we serve. Our model fosters pathways to success through excellence in education, powerful families, and strong communities for children and youth to thrive.
Early Education

At our seven early education centers, we provide more than 450 children with high-quality academic, social, and emotional education to become lifelong learners. Working closely with children as young as six-weeks and engaging parents, we ensure they have a strong support system that will carry them to success well beyond preschool.

TK-8th Education

Our Gratts Primary Charter School, Charter Elementary School, and Charter Middle School provide quality education, wraparound services, and after-school services to nearly 1,000 children grades TK-8. Our project-based approach keeps students intellectually enriched and our social emotional integration develops vital skills like confidence and character.

Youth Workforce Services

Over 2,000 youth and adults are provided opportunities to build their careers and engage in their community each year. Through workshops, mentorship, internships, and case management, our staff helps to open new opportunities for students and families to become self-sufficient and reach their full potential.

Student & Community Services

We build a strong foundation with over 4,000 children and adults annually through leadership and support groups, ESL education, in-home counseling, clinical support, and parenting workshops. Our services strengthen families and create a supportive community to help children and families thrive.

An L.A. institution that has touched generations of Angelenos with hope, health, and love.

- Los Angeles Mayor, Eric Garcetti

One thing I love about PLN is that no matter where you go in the organization, you encounter people who share the same passion as you - to do what we can so our parents and students succeed.

- Jose Lopez, Student Success Coordinator at
Para Los Niños Gratts Primary Center


Who We Serve
At the core of our work from the start, and continuing today, is the belief that where you live should never negatively define your opportunities.
Everyone, no matter income status, immigration status, home language, or zip code, should have the opportunity to unlock their potential.
Para Los Niños works with children, youth, and families to help them get to where they want to be – ready for a future of their choosing, with limitless possibilities in front of them.
Rachel's Story

She didn’t know that other kids had parks, or ate three times a day, or didn’t have to avoid the shared bathroom at night in case of a potentially dangerous situation.

She did know that when a woman knocked on their door sharing about a new place for kids in her area to learn and play, Rachel wanted to go. After convincing her mom, Rachel and her brother joined one of the first classes at Para Los Niños.

From that first day, “Everything changed,” says Rachel.

See her first story, in her own words, here.

Our History of Impact

Para Los Niños’ growing organizational abilities and reputation, combined with increasing levels of child poverty in L.A., led to our expansion beyond the initial facility. First, we expanded to include after-school programs, beginning at 9th Street Elementary School, and quickly expanding to more than a dozen other inner-city schools. Then, we launched family outreach and wraparound support initiatives, which continues to this day through our Family Preservation program.


Inspired by a Los Angeles Times article in (1979) about the plight of children living on Skid Row in Downtown Los Angeles, Social Worker Tanya Tull was moved to act and begin the process to create the first children’s social services agency in the area, Para Los Niños.

Tonya Tull

Securing a $5,000 grant, Para Los Niños leased a 5,000-square-foot warehouse in Skid Row and enrolled its first 50 children.

A grant of $100,000 from the Weingart Foundation enables Para Los Niños to purchase the original warehouse, an adjacent warehouse and a parking lot/playground. A third warehouse next door is leased — and the new properties are extensively renovated.

Playground on Skid Row

The expanded space and financial stability allows for the growth of Para Los Niños. The services and programming expand to include after-school across over a dozen inner-city schools, and starting wraparound support for families through a Family Crisis Center serving the homeless and those most in need in the Skid Row area.



Para Los Niños continues to grow and address the increasing numbers of children living in poverty; operating the original childcare and development center and a school-age center for kids K-6th grade. Para Los Niños’ reputation also grows: The after school “Latchkey Program” receives major state funding enabling the program to serve 150 children daily at the downtown Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Ninth Street Elementary School. The Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Project receives one of nine state-wide grants from the California State Office of Child Abuse Prevention in recognition of the innovative program.

PLN receives the largest Family Preservation grant in L.A. County’s history – for its innovative, integrated approach to family support and expands the Family Resource Center to serve more clients directly and through local non-profit partnerships.

Happy PLN kids 1990s



Responding to the needs and demands of the families we serve, Para Los Niños become a school operator and opened the Charter Elementary School in the Arts District of Downtown Los Angeles.

Para Los Niños added its first Youth Source Center in East LA, contracting with the City of Los Angeles Economic and Workforce Development Department to work with youth ages 14-24 on college and career readiness.




Para Los Niños opens the Evelyn Thurman Gratts Primary Center, and formalizes their partnership with First5LA for the Best Start Metro LA (BSMLA) pilot community.

Girls in front of Gratts

BSMLA focuses on supporting a community’s ability to foster and sustain healthy and thriving environments for families.

Para Los Niños opens the Charter Middle School (grades 6-8) in the Garment District (co-located with the same LAUSD Ninth Street Elementary school the after-school program started in decades before!), expanding PLN’s impact across the Skid Row area in Downtown Los Angeles.

CMS students



Para Los Niños continues to serve L.A.’s neediest children and families, placing education at the core of our work. In keeping with our original mission to help children thrive, our model – of early-education, TK-8th grade education, youth workforce services, and family and community services – provides a comprehensive, holistic approach to break the cycle of poverty and help children, youth, and families reach their full potential.

Where we are headed
By providing an excellent education from Pre-K through high school
Promoting powerful families through support programs and comprehensive social, emotional, and community-based services
Building strong communities by recognizing families' assets and developing them as change agents
PLN will visual its vision of thriving children and youth
2010-2020 Financials
2019 2020 Financials

“Education is not an expense, it is an investment in the tools for success.”

- Pedro J. Martí, Para Los Niños Board Member
and 2020 Caruso Familia Award Honoree

40th Anniversary Virtual Benefit

Our Virtual Benefit was a huge success! We are so grateful to our 400+ registered viewers. The event raised over $750,000 to support our ability to help children, youth, and families thrive!

Mario Lopez served as host and the one-hour program featured dozens of messages from families, students, staff, and donors sharing their love and support for Para Los Niños now and over the years. Additionally, PLN honored Adria & Pedro Martí with the Caruso Familia Award and United in Harmony – Camp Harmony with the 2020 Community Partner of the Year Award.

Board Chair Marjorie Lewis said it best at the start of the show, sharing, “every step of the way, our work is about partnership – either with a parent to ensure a happy home, or with an organization to paint a mural and beautify our campus – together we can accomplish so much.”

It was a true celebration of our forty years of impact and the great support we have received over the decades. It takes partnership to thrive and we are so grateful for all of our families, staff, donors, and supporters near and far that are in our PLN family. Here’s to the next forty!

Our Donors

We appreciate the generous support from all the foundations,
corporations, and individuals that make our work possible.

Get Involved

We can’t do this work alone - it takes the partnership of dedicated staff and volunteers each year, and strategic investments, to empower our children, youth, and families to succeed. Please join us! Learn more at paralosninos.org.


Para Los Niños welcomes volunteers from corporations, community groups, colleges and schools. Help us support children and families by giving your time for a few hours, or on a regular basis – weekly or monthly.

Volunteers can help with mentoring, tutoring, college application assistance, athletics coaching, and administrative tasks.



Invest in the lives of over 6,000
children, youth, and families.

Para Los Niños provides:

Education to children as young as six-weeks old;

Power to families navigating stress, systematic oppression, and generational poverty, and;

Strength to communities organizing to build more vibrant, safe, and healthy neighborhoods.

Join Our Team

We are always in search of dedicated, experienced professionals who value making a difference in the lives of children, youth and families.

We foster a spirit of collaboration because it is the combined work of all of our employees that makes our mission to help children succeed a reality.

Para Los Niños offers a competitive and comprehensive benefits program, plus opportunities for continued growth.

Join the Para Los Niños Futuro Family

Looking ahead to the next 40 years, we are starting the Para Los Niños Futuro Family. The society is composed of generous and forward-thinking donors who will support our long-term success through a planned gift. It’s easy to do, and donors of all varieties are welcome!

There are creative and flexible giving options that can benefit you and the future of PLN. Donating real estate, stocks, or other assets in return for a series of regular payments, naming Para Los Niños as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy, or gifting other liquid or non-liquid assets, can also offer generous tax benefits. Ensure the sustainability of our organization in a way that makes your core values known to others.

Consult with your financial advisor to discuss your options, and contact us at futurofamily@paralosninos.org to learn more. Your support of our mission will be long remembered and serve as an inspiration to others.

Gloria's Story

Nearly 22 years ago, Gloria was searching for a way to share the holiday spirit with those less fortunate and discovered Para Los Niños.

At the time, PLN had a program to adopt-a-family where donors were matched with a family and given a “wishlist” of items a family needed and a few “wishes.” Gloria thought it would be a great opportunity to give back and create a tradition with her son. They signed up, purchased the gifts, and took them to Para Los Niños to give families.

“It was an amazing experience for us to do this,” remembers Gloria, “and I thought it was important to show my son a different part of LA than he grew up seeing.”

While this holiday program changed at PLN, Gloria and her son continued to support it through the years. In the fall when they would go back-to-school shopping, Gloria and her son would include back-to-school support for PLN kids too.

“I believe children are our children communally,” says Gloria of her family’s generous spirit. “I know I didn’t raise my child alone – teachers and neighbors make up a community and I wanted to do the same for those who might not have as many resources.”

Today, Gloria and her son still find ways to be a part of Para Los Niños. Gloria, a former teacher, is currently working on a tutoring schedule for students at our Charter Middle School.

“We as a people are only as strong as our children, and they are our future,” says Gloria of her dedication to giving back to her hometown.

She continued, “My commitment will always be there, I’m a very proud Los Angelena; by committing to PLN I’m committing to the health of my city.”

Gloria Gerace and Family
“Judy and I have been honored to work with Para Los Niños for over 25 years. Thank you for the chance to help.”

- Don Katz, Longtime Para Los Niños Supporter

Partner Spotlight

Our 40-year partnership with the Weingart Foundation began in 1980, with two grant awards of $50,000.

As our founder, Tanya Tull, shared in a letter to the Foundation that year, without this support, “there is no way that we would now be anticipating an opening date this Fall.”

The letter goes on to detail facility updates and plans for a playground area and to purchase a 12-passenger van to transport children on field trips, and to deliver hot lunches daily.

Since then, the Weingart Foundation has contributed more than $2 million in philanthropic support to PLN.

“The Weingart Foundation partners with communities to advance racial, social, and economic justice for all,” said Fred Ali, President of the Weingart Foundation.  “As one of the first funders of Para Los Niños forty years ago, it has been an honor to be part of the nonprofit’s journey in ensuring social and health equity for our most vulnerable populations. Congrats, PLN, on continuing to help Los Angeles’ children, youth, and families thrive.”

Para Los Niños is proud and honored to have had their partnership since day one.

"As one of the first funders of Para Los Niños forty years ago, it has been an honor to be part of the nonprofit's journey in ensuring social and health equity for our most vulnerable populations. Congrats, PLN, on continuing to help Los Angeles' children, youth, and families thrive”

- Fred Ali, President, The Weingart Foundation

Questions? What to get more involved?

Contact Dan Nieman at dnieman@paralosninos.org today.