October 30, 2013On Oct. 28, local elected officials, teachers and students celebrated the ribbon cutting of the 9th Street Elementary School campus, which houses two schools - 9th Street Elementary School, operated by Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and Para Los Niños Middle School, a charter school.
"This is a great charter-district partnership. We are creating an inclusive and seamless culture - this is one school," said Martine Singer, President and Chief Executive Officer of Para Los Niños, a non-profit which integrates high-quality education with family supports, mental health services, and community engagement opportunities to thousands of children living in at-risk neighborhoods. PLN operates three charter schools in downtown LA. In addition to the new middle school, Para Los Niños will run a family center on the 9th Street campus that will serve all families at both schools.
The 9th Street campus is just blocks from skid row and LA's garment and flower districts. It was previously very run-down and primarily consisted of portables. The new campus is spacious and first-class, with a view of downtown Los Angeles.
"This campus is a great metaphor for education - so big and expansive and modern," said Singer, addressing students. "Don't be constrained. Be big, be bold. LAUSD Boardmember Monica Garcia emceed the ribbon cutting. Many speakers thanked her for tirelessly championing the project which is located in her district.
Several elected officials and dignitaries spoke and students performed. "You deserve an opportunity to succeed - regardless of where you come from, where you live," Senator Kevin De Leon told students.
"Don't lose sight of that view," said LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy, pointing at the towering businesses of downtown that are visible just beyond the campus. "We built this for you."