UCLA Community School Initiative Launches Summer Institute with Horace Mann Middle School

Event marks first phase of planning for a new community school in South Los Angeles.

The students were in South Los Angeles, but you could probably hear their 8-clap all the way over at UCLA.

Gathering in the stately old auditorium at Horace Mann Middle School, students, parents, teachers and school administrators joined with faculty and staff from the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies and other UCLA affiliated organizations to celebrate student learning and their new partnership.

“There’s a lot of excitement in this building and in this community about our partnership to create bright futures for the students in this neighborhood,” said Karen Hunter Quartz, director of research and development for the UCLA Community Schools Initiative. “We are making real progress together.”

The event announced one of the first tangible elements of this partnership– the establishment of the Mann – UCLA Summer Institute. The Institute will offer current and incoming Mann Middle School students instructional support to boost math, reading and writing skills through the LAUSD CORE Waiver Program. The UCLA Visual and Performing Arts Education Program (VAPAE) will also help students to develop as artists while supporting social and emotional development.  Students will have the opportunity to explore Chinese art, culture, and language and learn martial arts through programming from the UCLA Confucius Institute. There will also be a two-week computer coding academy for 7th grade students through 9 Dots, a tutoring program by the UCLA Volunteer Center. And the Young Scholars Program at UCLA’s Center X will engage students in in-depth explorations of mathematics, reading and writing, history and science. Pending funding, some students will also have the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors at UCLA UniCamp At Camp River Glen in Big Bear.

“Our belief is that schools should not be separate from our community, but rather surrounded and supported by it,” said Jody Priselac, Associate Dean for Community Programs. “The Summer Institute is an important milestone in the development of a promising partnership and a great example of what can happen when we bring the resources and commitment of UCLA together with the ideas and talent of our public schools and the neighborhoods they serve.”

The establishment of the new Summer Institute marks the first phase of an ongoing effort to design and develop a new community school to serve the children and residents in the Horace Mann neighborhood. Stay tuned.


Above: Eighth grader Chelsea Salgado welcomed Wasserman Dean Marcelo Suárez-Orozco to Horace Mann Middle School to celebrate a new partnership between her school UCLA Ed & IS, and other UCLA programs to support student learning and enrichment.

Photo by Karen Hunter Quartz