At Western Avenue Elementary School in the Los Angeles Unified School District, KLCS is making a big impact on the lives of students and their surrounding community. The local station has created the College Is Elementary program to instill the importance of planning for college from the very beginning of a child’s education. KLCS is aiming to develop more community knowledge about what makes a good student, teacher, leader and school. They hope that building on this foundation through the College Is Elementary program will establish trust between the school and community members that can foster deeper relationships in the future.
KLCS wants to create a college-bound culture through this project in which students, especially from low-income families, can make their dreams of receiving financial aid and enrolling in and graduating from college a reality. The College Is Elementary program has given students at Western Avenue the opportunity to experience the latest technologies in the classroom, keeping them more engaged in learning and inspiring them to work harder with the right tools.
Dr. Shilby Sims, Principal of Western Avenue Elementary School, said, “We are the premiere technology school in the area. My goal for the students is for them to leave here absolutely better than they came. But also [leave] prepared — prepared in knowing that they have a future and they controlled it.”
College Is Elementary was initially funded through a station grant in support of the American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen initiative, public media’s ongoing commitment to support community-based solutions to the school dropout crisis. Because KLCS has met so much success through this initial grant, the station wants to express their interest in partnering with other local organizations who may be able to further support College Is Elementary. Right now the program is only at Western Avenue Elementary School, but KLCS hopes to expand to other campuses to grow the program and continue emphasizing just how important preparation for college is for all students.
To hear more about College Is Elementary, watch the video posted below.