Our Programs

Since the beginning, the core activities at LA’s BEST have been divided into three and a half beats: help with homework, a learning activity that boosts core academic skills such as reading or math, something that’s new and just plain fun, and a nutritious snack. These components provide structure for a program that is otherwise highly customized based on students’ needs and the site staff’s interests and experience.

Our ENHANCED PROGRAMS

Over the years, we’ve added many special programs to our core offerings.
See all programs

Adventures In Peacemaking is a curriculum that uses The Peaceable Program approach toward teaching tolerance and conflict resolution skills to young people. The program, which teaches through reading activities and group discussions, emphasizes cooperation, emotional expression, communication, appreciation for diversity and conflict resolution.

After School Arts Program (ASAP) includes visual art, music, dance, drama and poetry classes, and features artists/educators-in-residence working with the LA’s BEST children. Each 10-week residency concludes with a special culmination event which brings the community together to celebrate the talent and accomplishments of the children.

BEST Fit is a health-centered, culturally-relevant, and intentional approach to nutrition and physical fitness. The goal is to provide fun and innovative opportunities for LA’s BEST children and their families to develop healthy eating habits, make physical activity a daily part of their lives, and encourage them to be advocates for a healthy future.

Connecting for Success is a staff development program that introduces new and innovative ways of working with youth to challenge them to think about their attitudes towards their peers, families and communities and to learn about how they can empower themselves to make an impact locally and globally.

Junior Achievement teaches the LA’s BEST children the basic concepts of business, economics and work readiness. The program includes six sequential themes for kindergarten through fifth-grade students that lay the ground work for financial literacy and productive citizenship in a global economy.

KidTech is an eight-week program in computer basics and software applications. Students learn to type, create documents, graphs, presentations, edit photos, and conduct research on the Internet. Upon completion of the program, students are awarded a free, refurbished desktop computer to take home. Students and their parents also participate in a culminating workshop to learn how to properly set up, manage, and utilize a computer.

KidType is a five-week program that teaches students touch typing, improving speed and accuracy, through fun and interactive software lessons and games. LA’s BEST hosts semi-annual type-off competitions for the fastest students from each school to showcase their skills and compete for prizes.

KidzLit and KidzMath, research-based literacy and math programs developed specifically for use in after school programs by the Developmental Studies Center, help LA’s BEST foster a love of reading and math in its students.

KidzScience, an inquiry-based, hands-on science program for grades 3-6 from the developers of KidzLit and KidzMath, emphasizes teamwork through activities that help students discover important science concepts.

LA’s BEST Celebrate Science Program provides opportunities for LA’s BEST children to have fun, engaging, interactive science experiences under a “team inquiry” model-developed under the guidance of NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. This program culminates with the citywide Celebrate Science Fair, where winning teams are awarded are awarded a science-focused educational field trip. Past winning field trips include an experience as an oceanographer for a day aboard the Marine Institute’s research vessel, a trip to U.S. Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama and a trip to the Columbia Memorial Space Center in Downey.

LA84 Foundation Sports Program provides students with a positive team concept and a method for developing their physical and social skills through sports engagement. Students in grades 3-6 participate in year-round sports, which include flag football, basketball, softball and soccer competitions. Coaches train and practice with more than 240 teams for each sport for five weeks, which culminates in weekend tournament competitions.

Science Explorer provides a collection of activity kits designed at the San Francisco Exploratorium for students in grades K-6 to engage in scientific discovery.

Young Authors is a program sponsored by Target that is based on Alma Flor Ada’s and Isabel F. Campoy’s work on transformative education. The program gives students in grades K-6 the opportunity to discover “the author within” and in the process learn self-efficacy, appreciation for diversity and creating the conditions for a better world.

Zula Patrol, a science program for students in grades K-2, builds new academic understanding through guided inquiry and hands-on activities. It also encourages written expression through journaling and introduces students to new science vocabulary.


OUR CITYWIDE EVENTS

LA’s BEST hosts a wide variety of other events each year that bring children, families and communities together to share in the excitement of LA’s BEST.
See all events

Celebrate Science Fair is a daylong event where teams of young scientists from LA’s BEST programs throughout the city compete for top honors and extraordinary prizes such as a multi-day trip to the Yosemite Institute.

Community Jam for Peace brings together children and families from different communities to decry the violence that affects their neighborhoods. Each year, LA’s BEST students sing, dance, rap, act and recite original poems in a talent showcase themed at taking a stand against violence.

Dance & Drill Team Showcase brings nearly 5,400 students together at Cal State L.A. for incredible performances in drill team and dance. This annual showcase provides children with an opportunity to proudly demonstrate leadership, teamwork, self-confidence and performing arts skills mastered through hundreds of hours of dedication and hard work.

Family Health Festival is an annual event of the BEST Fit program that brings together students and families for a day of fun and fitness. Thousands of participants sample healthy snacks, play games, receive free medical and dental health screenings and engage in hands-on activities designed to promote an awareness of healthy lifestyles.