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Downtown's Para Los Niños gets grant to bring back summer school

By Hayley Fox
Published: Tuesday, June 18, 2013, at 11:43AM
Andrew Lopez

Para Los Ninos is bringing back summer programming to their Downtown and Westlake locations, because of a $50,000 grant from Ford Motor Company.

Non-profit Para Los Niños (PLN) has been forced to cancel their summer program for the last two years due to a lack of funding. But this year, because of a $50,000 grant, programming is back on beginning this week.

“It is extremely important for children to maintain an enriching environment so they don’t lose academic gains over the summer,” said Martine Singer, President and CEO of PLN, in a statement. “The summer learning program allows us to provide students with academic, social, and personal enrichment opportunities year-round.”

The Ford Motor Company Fund awarded Para Los Niños the grant, which will bankroll two different summer sessions for children in kindergarten through fifth grade. One begins this week at PLN's Westlake location, and another starts in July Downtown at their 7th and Alameda charter school.

According to the non-profit: "Students will be able to strengthen literacy and language arts while learning leadership skills and sportsmanship with the goal being to instill skills of effective communication, cooperation and interaction."

PLN first opened its doors on Skid Row more than 30 years ago, in an old eyelash factory on 6th and Gladys streets. Now, the agency has early education centers, charter schools and wellness centers throughout L.A. County. According to PLN, the non-profit serves more than 3,500 children and teens everyday.

"When we began providing services, it was strictly childcare and some social services," PLN's VP of Communications and External Affairs Elena Stern, told blogdowntown in 2011. "Over the years we grew to meet the needs of the families in and around downtown and grew to provide comprehensive and mental health services in addition to our educational program."

Para Los Niños summer program began on Wednesday at the Para Los Niños-Gratts Primary Center. Sessions will take place Monday through Thursday, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. until July 26. Summer sessions begin at their 7th and Alameda location on July 8 and will continue Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., until August 2.

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