Southern California Program

P. F. Bresee Foundation

Los Angeles, CA
June 2017

Founded in 1982, the P. F. Bresee Foundation (Bresee) provides afterschool programming and family support services to middle and high school students and their families in a densely-populated area of central Los Angeles that is home to the highest concentration of recent immigrants in the City.  A three-year W. M. Keck Foundation grant will support the launch of the English for Success program through Bresee’s Academy for Middle School (BAM), which will serve struggling English Language Learners (ELLs).  One in three students at Virgil Middle School, Bresee’s primary BAM partner, is enrolled in English as a Second Language classes.  If they are not reclassified as English Proficient by the end of 8th grade, they are significantly less likely to pursue a postsecondary education.  Only 18% of ELL graduates nationwide advance to college.  The pilot English for Success program consists of three components: supporting families to set goals for their child’s academic attainment; fostering students’ academic success by providing homework help and language interventions; and, addressing their socio-emotional needs through mentoring and enrichment activities.  For the students participating in the pilot cohort, Bresee anticipates that 75% will reclassify as English Proficient by the end of eighth grade and advance to ninth grade ready to take on the full course of study needed to prepare for college.  Key findings from the pilot will be disseminated to other organizations through the City’s network of FamilySource Centers and the Los Angeles Unified School District’s Beyond the Bell after school programs.  The project will also build Bresee’s capacity to use data to evaluate and continuously improve its other programs and deliver optimal results for clients.

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