UCLA Community School Receives University’s Catalyst Award

The K-12 pilot school in Koreatown/Pico-Union is recognized as the UCLA Community Program of the Year.

UCLA Community School has been recognized as Community Program of the Year with the Catalyst Award from UCLA Government and Community Relations. The school, which was created in 2009 through a unique partnership among the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), UCLA’s Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, and the local community, serves more than 1,000 K-12 students from the Koreatown/Pico-Union neighborhood.

The Catalyst Award recognizes UCLA Community Programs that have made a huge impact in communities in a short time. Catalyst Award recipients have also fostered collaborations between UCLA and the greater Los Angeles community, with the goal of achieving UCLA’s mission of education, research, and public service.

Karen Hunter Quartz is the director of research at UCLA Community School and UCLA’s Center X. She says that the University has been deeply involved in making the K-12 school a success, including internships for UCLA Community School students in departments across campus, UCLA’s UniCamp, and art education programs at the Hammer Museum and the William Andrews Clark Library.

“When we opened our doors five years ago, it was difficult to imagine how deep and significant UCLA’s engagement at the school would be,” says Quartz. “Now, we welcome about 200 Bruins at the site each year. From undergraduates tutoring students to faculty working on research to graduate students learning to become exemplary teachers, we have logged more than 40,000 hours of UCLA engagement. And more than that, UCLA has served as a vibrant site of learning for our UCLA Community School teachers and students. The Catalyst Award is a wonderful affirmation of our partnership and shared educational mission.”

“The UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies has had a long standing presence in the community,” says Carmen Healey, assistant director, UCLA Community & Local Government Relations. “It has demonstrated its history of service and commitment to encourage students to get an education and continue onto higher education. It is for this reason that the selection committee of Community & Local Government Relations, UCLA’s Career Center, University Communications, Staff Assembly, and the Volunteer Center, designated UCLA Community School as this year’s Catalyst Award recipient.”

“I am extremely proud of the Catalyst Award honoring the work of UCLA Community School,” says UCLA Ed & IS Dean Marcelo Suárez-Orozco. “Our amazingly diverse school in Koreatown/Pico-Union embodies the very best of UCLA Ed & IS: a research-to-practice ethos in the service of engagement, equity, and excellence for all children. The founders of State Normal School – UCLA’s precursor founded in 1882 – are smiling from their place of rest.  The hope, grit, and dedication that led those pioneers to envision an education for all Los Angelenos endures as vibrant and very much alive today at UCLA Community School.”

The Catalyst Award will be presented on Oct. 29 during the annual UCLA in Downtown LA Reception at Los Angeles City Hall. For more information, click here.