Education, Arts & Culture

Los Angeles County Summer Youth Employment Program

During the summer months, you will:

  • Learn the value of work.
  • Work with professionals from different types of occupations and careers.
  • Make new friends and professional acquaintances.
  • Learn valuable life skills that will serve you for years to come.
  • Earn a paycheck and feel proud about the work accomplished.
  • Work on interesting projects and assignments.

Click here to access the service provider’s locations

CONTACT

Phone:
213-351-5390

Websites:
http://css.lacounty.gov/summer-youth.aspx
www.dol.gov/summerjobs

Email:
summeryouthjobs@css.lacounty.gov

Leimert Park Village Book Festival

Supervisor Ridley-Thomas spoke to thousands of book lovers, families, authors, and fans  of all ages gathered in Leimert Park on Saturday, June 25, 2011 for the Fifth Annual Leimert Park Village Book Fair.

2011 Photo Slide Show…

This year’s fair featured 150 celebrity readings, book signings, writing workshops, panel discussions, poetry readings, stage performances, and musical acts. Leimert Park Village Book Fair has hosted some of the national’s top authors and artists including Nikki Govanni, Ishmael Reed, Pulizer Prize Winner Douglass A. Blackmon, California Poet Laureate Emeritus Al Young, Antwone Fisher, Hill Harper, and Synthia Saint James, just to name a few. LPVBF also annually distributes more than 1,500 free books to fair attendees, including over 300 books to local foster care children.

This year featured former editor-in-chief of Essence magazine Susan L. Taylor, economist Dr. Julianne Malveaux, and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist-turned-author Isabel Wilkerson. Among the notable authors present was Sugar Ray Leonard promoting his recently published autobiography.

The Leimert Park Village Book Fair was founded in 2006 by Cynthia Ethusian Exum with the goal of promoting literacy and education in Los Angeles. The Leimert Park Village Book Fair was inspired by a project in February 1999 when Ms. Exum partnered with Our Authors Study Club, Inc. to present a ‘Festival of African American Authors’ at Los Angeles Southwest College. Its success in drawing 10 authors participating for an audience of 40 inspired the idea of creating an annual literary event. The concept of establishing a book fair in the community was further encouraged when Ms. Exum partnered with organizations Helping One Another Progress, Inc., Eso Won Books, the Leimert Park Merchant’s Association, and the 8th District Task Force Committee, and the office of Los Angeles Councilmember Bernard C. Parks, 8th District. Leimert Park was chosen as the host venue site because of its importance as the cultural/artistic center of the African American Community in Los Angeles.

The Inaugural Leimert Park Book was organized by a Planning Committee of over 30 persons including representatives from local schools, corporate/businesses, libraries, literary non-profit organizations, community organizations, and local authors, poets, and spoken word performers.

Today, the Annual Leimert Park Village Book fair attracts over 200 authors, poets, spoken word artists, storytellers, performers, and literary/educational exhibitor participants – and boasts an audience of over 5,000. Since its inception the Leimert Park Village book fair has grown in popularity and prestige becoming a cultural tradition and premier summer literary event. This year’s Book Fair will take place on Saturday, June 25, 2011, and everyone is invited this day of celebrating the written word.

More information is available at www.leimertparkbookfair.com

LA County Arts Education Collaborative Best In The Nation

Established by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, Arts for All is the dynamic, County-wide collaboration working to create vibrant classrooms, schools, communities and economies through the restoration of all arts disciplines into the core curriculum for each of our 1.6 million public K-12 students. Arts for All was awarded the 2011 Arts Education Award by the nation’s leading arts advocacy organization, Americans for the Arts (AFTA). The announcement was made June 16, 2011 at AFTA’s annual convention, this year held in San Diego, CA.

According to the 50-year-old Washington-based nonprofit, this year’s field of candidates, comprised of 18 nominations from around the country, was the most competitive ever evaluated in the judging process. In addition, Robert L. Lynch, President and CEO of Americans for the Arts, said that the Arts for All selection is all the more remarkable given California’s budget crisis.

“Particularly at a time when school districts face increasingly dire fiscal circumstances,” Lynch said, “Arts for All’s steady commitment and support has kept arts education at the forefront of school and community leaders’ consciousness in Los Angeles County.”

Alongside Los Angeles Unified School District’s own arts education initiative, 44 out of the 81 districts in L.A. County are now identified as Arts for All partners and committed to standards-based K-12 arts instruction. Funding for Arts for All comes from private foundations, corporations, federal grants and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. The collaborative has been widely recognized by scholars for its creative approach and accomplishment.

Arts for All impacts close to 950,000 students and has experienced an annual growth in district participation since it began in 2003 with six vanguard districts. Arts for All has used a pragmatic approach to assist school districts as they build the foundations that support quality, sequential, K-12 arts education in dance, music, theatre and visual arts. For many children, this ongoing instruction in the arts is their most memorable educational experience, often leading to jobs and careers in what experts call the “creative economy” of Los Angeles.

Last year the Otis (College) “Report on the Creative Economy of the Los Angeles Regions” stated that the creative industry “supported one out of six jobs in the region, generating an estimated $127 billion in sales revenues and $4.6 billion in state and local tax revenues.”

 

Referring to the Arts for All track record, Laura Zucker, the Executive Director of the LA County Arts Commission, said, “It is our hope that our work in L.A. County will provide a model for school districts across the country that are committed to including sequential, standards-based K-12 arts education in the core curriculum.”

Visit www.lacountyartsforall.org to learn more.


Operation Graduation – A Celebration of Success

In an inspiring ceremony at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, more than 280 students and 2000 well-wishers participated in a commencement ceremony for students graduating from the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) alternative education programs, juvenile court schools, and special education programs.

The annual event, sponsored by the LA County Office of Education and the County Probation Department, celebrated the academic achievements of truly remarkable high school teens, who have persevered through delinquency, behavioral problems, substance abuse, and pregnancy.

The words of this year’s valedictorian, Roman Guerra, who struggles with Asperger’s Syndrome and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) moved those in attendance.

“I have a purpose. I have a vision. I have faith. Tomorrow I am going to make a difference in this world,” said Guerra who reminded graduates, “If you fall, get up learn from your mistakes and approach problems differently.”

Overall, 633 students will graduate this year from the LACOE-led alternative education programs, juvenile court & community schools, and special education programs.

Congratulations Graduates!

Watts Summer Games 2011

The mission of the L.A. Watts Summer Games is to build bridges of understanding among high school youth. The Games strive to promote positive interaction, respect and achievement through spirited competition in athletics.

 

 

 

 

In the spring of 1968, the Los Angeles Junior Chamber of Commerce established the Watts Junior Olympics. Conceived by a belief in the promise of youth and respect for the dignity of human life, the L.A. Watts Summer Games “promotes positive interaction through competition in athletics, art and scholastics.” The name is a reminder that all Americans must seek new forms of communication with one another if we are to avoid the problems and tensions that ultimately resulted in the Watts riots of 1965.

The Games were modeled after the Olympic Games by William Sims and fellow members of the Los Angeles Junior Chamber of Commerce. An original goal of the Games was to provide awareness of Olympic sports and to develop athletic talent from Southern California for future Olympic competition. This goal has come to fruition by encouraging young athletes such as Jamaal Wilkes, Florence Griffith Joyner, John Elway, Valerie Brisco Hooks, Vince Ferragamo, and Byron Scott, to name a few.
The success of the first Games – which involved 150 athletes competing in three events at Locke High School – persuaded all who were involved that the concept was sound. Through the years, the number of participants grew to 12,000 and new sports were added to the competition, totaling 17 events.

 

Additionally, competitions were added in cheerleading, music, art and poetry. As the number of participants and sports continued to grow, so did the geographic boundaries from which the participants came: Southern California, Central California, Oregon, Louisiana, and even New Zealand.

 

Almost 200,000 youth have competed during the past 30 years. To promote the achievements of high school students in areas other than athletics, “scholastics” was added to the mission of the Games to recognize the accomplishments of both athletes and scholars. The Games established a scholarship program for youth dedicated to serving the community through volunteerism, and has awarded more than $300,000 in scholarships since its inception in 1992.

 

The Games are not just designed for a gathering of cultures. They are a gathering of ideas, philosophies and the realization that today’s youth can achieve common goals, and reach greater heights through sports. All of the young men and women who compete are winners in their own right, because they do their best, and participate in the spirit of fair play.
As each year ushers in new volunteers, sponsors, spectators, and community support, thousands of youth push themselves to greater achievements, learn to rise above hardship and prejudice and pursue their dreams and goals.

 

  • The Games grew to be the largest high school athletic competition in the nation with more than 7,000 participants.
  • The Games are covered by more than 30 media outlets, including two weeks of pre-Games coverage by NBC. Additional coverage draws from CBS, ABC, Fox, the Los Angeles Times, Power 106 FM, The Beat, Xtra Sports 690 AM as well as many other print, radio and television sources.
  • More than 300 volunteers from the LAJCC, community organizations, youth groups, CIF officials and other corporations support the implementation of the Games.
  • The reach of the Games extends to students and schools in the following counties: Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Riverside, Santa Barbara, Ventura, San Luis Obispo and San Francisco.
  • Recognized accomplishment, with more than 40 years of equity and good standing in the Southern California and high school athletic communities.
  • The L.A. Watts Summer Games is a nonprofit event.
  • The California Interscholastic Federation continues in its support and endorsement of the Games.
L.A. Watts Summer Games Highlights
  • 1969 – Games moved to LA High School. Gymnastics, swimming and diving added. Number of athletes increased to 600.
  • 1970 – Women’s events added for the first time. Games moved to Cal State LA. Soccer and wrestling added.
  • 1971 – Football and Tennis added to Games.
  • 1974 – Games attracted more than 5,000 youth.
  • 1975 – Men’s water polo, art and music competitions added.
  • 1977 – Woman named Most Outstanding Participant
  • 1978 – First woman chair named. Softball competition added.
  • 1979 – Games move to East L.A. College. Judo competition added, totaling 23 events. Leadership and volunteer awards established.
  • 1980 – Participation reaches all time high. Steering Committee organization and structure improved.
  • 1981 – First Pro-Stars Celebrity Basketball Game, featuring 17 Games alumni.
  • 1983 – Summer Games Foundation created for year-round fundraising management.
  • 1984 – Games committee implemented a plan to invlove the Southern Pacific Association Amateur Athletic Union.
  • 1985 – A record 128 men’s basketball teams competed. Games participation surpassed Olympic Games with more than 9,000 participants.
  • 1986 – Games moved to El Camino College. Cheerleading competition held at Knotts Berry Farm and hosted more than 1,000 cheerleaders.
  • 1987 – Games celebrates 20th anniversary.
  • 1988 – A Rap for Peace Symposium in Association with the Community Youth Gang Services was established.
  • 1992 – Scholarship Program established.
  • 1991 – The number of athletes grew to 12,000.
  • 1999 – Florence Griffith Joyner Alumni Award established by committee member Jan Hardy.
  • 2000 – Most sports move to two-game guarantee.
  • 2004 – The Home Depot Center becomes the host venue for the Games.
  • 2006 – Community 5K Run/Walk added.
  • 2007 – Games celebrates 40th anniversary.
  • 2008 – SpiritFest Event was created to encompass the Cheer, Dance, Hip Hop and Pom Categories. The LAWSG Logo was changed.
  • 2009 – LA Southwest College once again becomes the Host Venue for the Games. Boys and Girls Lacrosse was added to the Games Tournament.
  • 2010 – Advisory Council established. Games logo changed to be more in line with the overall LAJCC Brand.
  • 2011 – Opportunities through Education Day added to the overall LAWSG Program.  Annual Games Fundraiser established, The Champions Ball.