Advancement Project is committed to positively impacting the wellbeing of children birth-to-8 in Southeast L.A. County by working directly with parents and families in this region. By focusing on leadership development for families of children birth-to-8, we believe that barriers such as limited economic mobility, immigration status, and limited English-language proficiency will no longer prevent families from having access to the knowledge and tools they will need to serve as advocates for their children’s learning, in addition to serving as community leaders in systems and policy change efforts.
We are working directly with parents and families in Southeast Los Angeles County, focusing on the largely working-class cities of Bell, Cudahy, South Gate, Huntington Park, and Maywood, all of which fall within LAUSD’s service area. An assessment of the “Southeast Cities” region performed by local funder First 5 Los Angeles determined that the rate of families in poverty is higher than the rate in Los Angeles County.
94% of residents are Latino, and nearly 9 in 10 speak a language other than English at home. 67.6% of adults age 25 or older do not have a high school diploma or its equivalent, compared to 23% in Los Angeles County, severely reducing living-wage employment opportunities for eligible adults. The Southeast Cities are also home to a relatively high percentage of 0- to 5-year-olds, at 12.5% (compared to 8.6% in the county), and a young population in general – approximately 32% of residents are under 18. The conditions for parents interested in child care for their children, a critical component for allowing families to participate in the workforce, is dire. In the city of Bell, there are only 13 early childhood seats available for children birth-to-five, making this city the highest need area in all of Los Angeles County.