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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


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 [...]

Community Member Spotlight: Charline Nuñez

Shortly after finishing high school, Charline Nuñez organized a community youth group to help keep local kids engaged and involved. “We did car washes down the street and used the money we raised to take the kids on activities each weekend,” she recalls. “It gave them something productive to do, versus being idle in the [...]

Bridging the Child Care Gap

First 5 LA will help preserve more than 3,200 child care slots at 11 nonprofit child development providers in Los Angeles County through an investment in the Los Angeles Early Childhood Education (LA ECE) Bridge Fund. A product of the Low Income Investment Fund, or LIIF, the LA ECE Bridge Fund provides financing for early [...]

National Immunization Awareness Month

As summer winds down, many families try to fit in that last minute vacation or get ready for back to school. Vaccinations are usually the last thing on their minds. With August being National Immunization Awareness Month, just in time for the new school year, it’s a good time for educators and health care workers [...]