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South Los Angeles/West Athens

Best Start South Los Angeles/West Athens

The West Athens community is often described as part of the broader South LA region. While more resources and infrastructure are typically found in communities to the north of West Athens, it does share some regional service providers, capacity and infrastructure. Within West Athens, and in the South LA region overall, community leaders have come together around issues such as child welfare reform and public safety. There are also several active collaboratives working to improve services for pregnant women, financial literacy skills for residents and resources for families with young children. The South LA region has significant resident participation in these collaborative efforts and developing local leadership is seen as a priority.

Community leadership in the South LA region, which includes West Athens, is described as “dedicated, passionate, hardworking, grassroots, invigorated against all odds and strength-based.”

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News and postings


FREE DOWNLOAD: Best Start Community Perspectives

We are excited to share with you “Community Perspectives”—inspiring stories of leadership and change from our 14 Best Start communities in Los Angeles County. Click below to download your copy in English or in Spanish:                               Community Perspectives 2014 English   [...]

Community Member Spotlight: Pat Henson

It’s no surprise that a 70-year-old woman with 38 grandchildren and 28 great-grandchildren would eventually tire of running a children’s daycare center. But a year after closing her center, Pat Henson reopened it, and she credits Best Start with providing the inspiration. She remembered the first time she heard about Best Start. “I was at [...]

Certain Parenting Skills and Breastfeeding Are Strengths in Best Start Communities

Parents and caregivers in Best Start communities are doing well in areas of parental stress, giving praise and breastfeeding, but could use help with preschool enrollment, access to parks and availability of fruits and vegetables, according to preliminary results from a new survey. The Best Start Family Survey included 4,232 interviews with adults in the [...]

Helping Families and Kids Off to Their Best Start

A life of service may have been predestined for Public Affairs Officer Alfredo “Freddy” Lee, who comes from a long lineage of community service-oriented family members who have selected careers helping those in need medically, educationally and spiritually. “My grandmother was a nurse and then later a professor in Mexico, my father is a pastor, [...]

PCIT Conference Draws Hundreds

Nearly 400 people attended a First 5 LA-supported, two-day conference on Parent-Child Interaction Therapy, or PCIT, earlier this month at UCLA to hear the latest on this method of treatment. Close to half of the participants were from Los Angeles County and part of the L.A. County PCIT Training project, which is First 5 LA’s [...]

Best Start Communities Help Literacy Take Flight for Families

Parents and their children from Best Start Communities are participating in the Flights of Fantasy Story Theatre “Engaging Families in Literacy” Workshops, which informs parents about the important role story time plays in a child’s development of language and how it can increase the parent-child bond. “I had heard that there was this opportunity and [...]

Become a Vendor for Best Start!

Here’s an opportunity to offer your services to support Best Start communities! Join us in South LA on Thursday, August 28, for a workshop to learn how to become a vendor for Best Start. Areas of interest include audio visual, catering, child care, facilities rental, event supply rental, interpretation/translation, and transportation. See below for more [...]

CBAR Opens Doors for Two Young Participants

Seventeen-year-old Joseph Tran needed community service hours for his college application. When his mother, a registered nurse, invited him to join her at a Best Start South El Monte/ El Monte Partnership meeting last summer, Tran admits he was unsure what to expect. “I thought, ‘I’ll go listen to what they have to say,’” he [...]

Paying it Forward in a New Role

Congratulations to First 5 LA’s Camille Donnell, recently elected to serve on the Greater Long Beach YMCA Early Childhood Education Board of Managers, a role that Camille feels is an ideal opportunity for her to give back – to help others benefit from the kinds of programs that, as a child, she benefited from herself. [...]

Home Visiting Victory

Home Visiting programs in California have received an $11.9 million boost from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, approximately 14.5 percent of which will likely go to help new mothers and infants in Los Angeles County. U. S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell last week announced $106.7 million in FY [...]