Monday, February 22, 2010

Let's Read, Westside - OLYMPICS session

At the first Let's Read, Westside session... We had 12 kids and about 16 volunteers, including Beth and me. The theme of the session was the Winter Olympics.  To start off the session I read aloud Curious George in the Snow to the kids.  From there the kids picked out a book and a volunteer to read with one-on-one.  After about 45 minutes, the kids returned to the room for snack (apple slices and cheese and crackers).  We then had the kids make gold medals by painting cardboard circles with yellow paint (pictured, above).  While those were drying the kids made Olympic torches out of paper and red/yellow/orange tissue paper and Olympic flags. Jared and Rashidi are pictured here (below) and there are more photos posted on our facebook page!
~ Aaron Perez, Co-Project Leader, Let's Read - Westside

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Let's Read - Aaron Perez shares why he's involved and encourages you to join him!

Let's Read - Westside is a multi-week program designed to provide the youth of Nora Sterry Elementary School and the surrounding community with the tools to help them achieve their dreams. Working individually and as a group, volunteers work with youth to strengthen their reading and comprehension skills and to show them that reading can be fun.

I found Let's Read back in September 2008 as I was browsing through the L.A. Works' postings for a program that worked with children, specifically in education. After my first session, where I read and played board games with some really cool kids, I knew the program was perfect for me. After I heard that Mike and Beth, the former project leaders, would not be able to continue running this program full-time, I was eager to help out.

The most inspiring thing about the program is after you've worked with the same child for a few weeks and start to notice improvements. You'll realize he or she is a lot more confident sounding out big words and is enjoying reading a little bit more. Most of the parents of these kids don't have the English language skills to read with their kids, so the hour we spend reading with them is really invaluable.

If you're enthusiasm for kids is as great as your love of learning, then this program is for you. I know how busy we all are and taking a part of a Saturday morning may seem daunting. With that said, I promise if you can make it to one session you will be surprised how much of a positive impact you can make in a child's life with just two hours of your time!

~ Aaron Perez, Let's Read Westside Co-Project Leader

Click HERE to learn more about the WESTSIDE Let's Read project OR HERE to learn about the PUEBLO DEL RIO Let's Read project.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Announcing the Get L.A. Short Film Contest

As we work to fulfill our mission of increasing volunteerism in L.A., we understand that building better communities starts with learning what people care about in Los Angeles. And we believe that as people begin to connect more with the ideas/issues/places that make our city great, they will further embrace why L.A. Works organizes volunteer projects focused on positively impacting the community. So, we have partnered with L.A. Magazine to offer our volunteers and supporters an opportunity to share their videos about what is loved/hated/thought about L.A. We get your thoughts on what is important in our city and you get a chance to win an exclusive VIP meeting with Hollywood executives and more!! More information about L.A. Work's Get L.A. Short Film Contest available at