Kids in Los Angeles are anticipating the start of the second year of Hollygrove’s after school program. Following a successful record with kids at summer camp, our staff at Hollygrove (the LA division of EMQ FamiliesFirst) knew it was time to reach out to kids during the rest of the year. So we took the idea into an afterschool program and named it ‘Endless Summer.’
These are kids who normally turn to gangs for affirmation and a sense of belonging.
There’s an overwhelming need in the community, and Endless Summer meets it with therapeutic and enrichment activities – like at Camp Hollygrove– along with a focus on literacy and school achievement. For many children and teens, this may be the first place they feel valued, surrounded by staff that focus on their strengths and nurture their burgeoning talents.
These are kids who normally don’t participate in team sports or clubs at school, who turn to gangs for affirmation and a sense of belonging. At Hollygrove, they discover how to make positive choices, to mentor a young child instead of bullying, or write in journals instead of expressing their feelings with violence.
Endless Summer meets the need when typical after-school programs are not an option because of a child’s emotional and behavioral challenges. Our partners include Larchmont Charter School, which shares our campus, and Vine Street Elementary, where we already offer on-site mental health services and with whom we have a decades-long history of collaboration. We work closely with teachers to improve the academic performance of the students they refer while also helping kids learn positive behavior and social skills.
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