LOS ANGELES (May 14, 2014) – Mayor Eric Garcetti, in partnership with Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., The California Endowment, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, today announced the launch of the Los Angeles Summer of Learning program, a citywide initiative to keep youth engaged in learning this summer.
Summer of Learning, along with Summer Night Lights, extends evening park hours and places 10,000 young Angelenos into summer jobs, as part of Mayor Garcetti’s Summer of Success initiative for the city of Los Angeles.
Los Angeles youth ages 3 - 24 can access 100 valuable learning opportunities online, and in person, at city parks and libraries, L.A. Unified schools, museums and cultural institutions, like the Getty Center and Aquarium of the Pacific. The curriculum offers robust options in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math, as well as a work-readiness pathway geared toward the skills needed to succeed in the modern economy.
“L.A. Summer of Learning will transform Los Angeles into a 500 square-mile campus and provide learning opportunities for our youth when school is not in session,” said Mayor Garcetti. “By connecting our students with creative, interactive and interest-driven learning opportunities, we will help our city’s youth learn new skills and prepare to enter the workforce.”
“Learning happens everywhere, not only in the classroom,” L.A. Unified Superintendent John Deasy said. “More than half of the achievement gap between lower- and higher-income youth is due to unequal access to summer learning opportunities. Thanks to the tremendous collaboration of our community partners, businesses, neighborhoods and city agencies, L.A. Summer of Learning will help increase access for youth, particularly in underserved neighborhoods. Together, we will make learning more visible to participants, parents, teachers, academic institutions, and potential employers.”
The Los Angeles Summer of Learning binds a coalition of public, private, and non-profit partners to offer connected learning opportunities that help students further develop the knowledge and skills essential to their academic and professional success. The program rewards students by issuing digital “badges” to mark their achievements in topic-specific and
pre-approved curricula, giving students a vehicle to share their success with peers, schools, and even potential employers.
The program received private donations, including $500,000 from JPMorgan Chase, and $200,000 from the The California Endowment. The MacArthur Foundation, which helped pilot the program last summer in Chicago, provided valuable technical assistance in designing the program, the website and digital badges.
“JPMorgan Chase is highly committed to supporting skills training programs throughout Los Angeles,” said Bob Graziano, managing director of Global Wealth Management for JPMorgan Chase in Southern California. “We know that providing job readiness training will help young students succeed in an era where not enough workers have the specific skills needed to qualify for the jobs available. We are thrilled to work with Mayor Garcetti and the city of Los Angeles to help better prepare our youth for the future.”
Dr. Robert K. Ross, CEO and President of The California Endowment said, “The California Endowment is proud to support the Los Angeles Summer of Learning program because it encourages learning beyond our traditional classrooms. We at The California Endowment know that in order for our children to succeed, particularly those in underserved communities, we must provide them with a diverse set of educational opportunities that allow them to develop tangible skills that prepare them for the workforce.”
“In an increasingly complex world, today’s youth need learning that is powerful and relevant and connected to real-world opportunities,” said Connie Yowell, director of Education at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. “Badges issued as part of the L.A. Summer of Learning will help to connect young people’s interests to opportunities in school, the workplace and their community. The program will help them identify their own pathways to find success in life.”
Mayor Garcetti's office led the program’s creation, arranging financial support and collaborating with 30 partner organizations. L.A. Unified’s Beyond the Bell, which directed curriculum development, will administer the program.
Youth and their parents can sign up for the program starting on May 20 at www.summeroflearning.la. Also, visit the program's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/lasummeroflearning or Twitter at https://twitter.com/la_learning for more information.
About JPMorgan Chase:
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.5 trillion and operations worldwide. The firm is a leader in investment banking; financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, asset management and private equity. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of consumers in the United States and many of the world's most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at www.jpmorganchase.com.
About the California Endowment:
The California Endowment is a private, statewide health foundation with a mission to expand access to affordable, quality health care for underserved individuals and communities, and to promote fundamental improvements in the health status of all Californians. The California Endowment was established in 1996 as a result of Blue Cross of California's creation of its for-profit subsidiary, WellPoint Health Networks. Since then, they've invested in health broadly, from strengthening the safety net for families struggling with poverty to diversifying the health care workforce. More information is available at www.calendow.org.
The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation supports creative people and effective institutions committed to building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. In addition to selecting the MacArthur Fellows, the Foundation works to defend human rights, advance global conservation and security, make cities better places, and understand how technology is affecting children and society. For more information, visit www.macfound.org
Contact: Cynthia Montalban (213) 241-3547