2022 Grants Challenge

Families Organizing to Expand STEM Tutoring to Low-income Students in Southeast LA

High-quality tutoring can be a game changer for students who missed out on learning during the pandemic, especially for math. Great tutors help students build not just skills, but the mindsets they need to believe in themselves, take on challenges and succeed. But right now, Southeast LA is a tutoring desert - we’re harnessing community power to change that!


What is the primary issue area that your application will impact?

K-12 STEAM Education

In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

Other:: South East LA

specifically the cities of Huntington Park

South Gate




and Walnut Park

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Pilot or new project, program, or initiative

What is your understanding of the issue that you are seeking to address?

Students have been deeply impacted by the pandemic. Even before COVID-19, the education system was failing Black and Latino students, low-income students, English learners, and students with special needs and learning differences. The pandemic and school closures have dramatically accelerated these inequities. Even now that students have returned to in-person instruction, nearly 40% are chronically absent and disengaged. Math is particularly critical because each year builds on the next one and the data is showing clearly that many students are behind. If they don’t have the building blocks to thrive at algebra, it can derail their ability to stay on the college track and go into STEAM professions. Our parent leaders are advocating for tutoring because it has a strong research base and offers immediate, personalized support to accelerate students’ learning while cultivating their skills as self-directed learners.

Describe the project, program, or initiative this grant will support to address the issue.

Right now, South Los Angeles and South East Los Angeles are tutoring deserts. There are no private tutoring providers in those communities and there is a very small and fragmented non-profit tutoring sector. Further, the school district is doing very little to serve these communities. Despite unprecedented state funding, just one out 10 LAUSD students has received tutoring to date. Innovate’s parent leaders are pushing LAUSD to make this a priority and expand high-quality tutoring fast while also working to organize the community to strengthen the capacity of local non-profit tutoring providers to meet this need. Innovate leaders are advocating for: The creation of a regional tutoring initiative that will capture additional public and philanthropic funds, capture data and learnings to share best practices to rapidly scale what’s working, and support a workforce pipeline in the education sector. - Effective implementation of the Expanded Learning Opportunities Program in Los Angeles - More state investment, including a sustainable source of long-time funding for out-of-school programs - Accountability for how funds are spent - Expansion of quality tutoring programs embedded in afterschool with more funding and capacity-building for nonprofit providers This funding would support us to build parent leadership and organize families to push for the expansion of high-quality tutoring for students.

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

If we’re successful, hundreds of the students who were most impacted by the pandemic will get high-quality one-to-one or small group tutoring multiple times a week. Tutoring will allow students to make up for missed learning and catch up so that they can be on track to graduate and go to college. Learning loss will be addressed so that we will not lose a generation of students. This initiative will also create good local jobs in COVID-impacted communities that will place more people of color on pathway to education careers. SELA was deeply impacted by the pandemic. Many SELA residents are essential workers with 41% having to work in-person during the pandemic. Seven of every 10 SELA residents lost their jobs or had their wages cut during the pandemic and many didn’t have savings to fall back on. This initiative will not only support K-12 students, but will hire locally to benefit local college students and adults from SELA who will work as tutors

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

- Establish a team of 25 active parent leaders during 2022-23 who will engage 200+ more community members - 15 elected officials, community leaders and tutoring providers engaged - Public action to amplify the voices of parents and establish the need for tutoring in the region - Winning the expansion of tutoring programs in Southeast LA

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

Direct Impact: 30

Indirect Impact: 500