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Best Start Communities

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Who We Are

First 5 LA is a leading early childhood advocate working collaboratively across Los Angeles County to ensure that every child enters kindergarten ready to succeed in school and life. One of the ways in which we work to meet this goal is Best Start, which focuses on building supportive communities where children and families can thrive.

First 5 LA supports Best Start in 14 communities across L.A. County. While these communities face critical issues such as poverty, high unemployment and teen birth rates, each has a strong network of local leaders and non-profit organizations dedicated to making a difference. First 5 LA works in partnership with these networks to promote a common vision and collective will throughout each community that will give kids the best start in life.

Why Invest in Communities

Because parents and caregivers are at the heart of a child’s development, they are at the center of our work. And just as children do better in strong families, families do better in strong communities. In order for young children to succeed, we need communities and neighborhoods to be safe, healthy places where families can thrive. This happens when communities are able to support and connect their residents to each other through sound policies, abundant resources and quality services. How well this system works has a long-lasting impact on the quality of life for parents and caregivers and outcomes for children.

How We Do It

Best Start brings together parents and caregivers, residents, organizations, businesses, government institutions and other stakeholders to collectively build a vision and develop strategies to create the best possible community for young children and their families. They collaborate to improve a community’s policies, resources and services to better support residents, and create that place where families can thrive. Best Start then provides the skills-building and leadership training to help them achieve their goals and ensure that children enter kindergarten ready to succeed in school and in life. This is done through groups we call Community Partnerships, which meet on a regular basis.

Through the Community Partnerships, parents and caregivers enhance their leadership skills, increase their knowledge about children’s needs, and develop relationships with others so that they can be a voice for change and take action. Institutional leaders, service providers and community organizations also learn through this process to make better decisions, informed by the opinions and perspectives of the parents and caregivers. This collective process connects the Best Start effort with the broader community to create a greater social impact. Anyone who believes in our goal can join a Community Partnership, and our membership continues to grow each year.

What We Do

Best Start believes that parents and caregivers are essential to community change, and Community Partnerships serve to help these members learn to advocate for themselves and their children. One way Community Partnerships do this has been to develop projects, based on their experience and analysis on matters affecting families with young children in their communities, and then to work on solutions. These include finding ways to overcome social isolation for families, increase supportive parent and neighbor networks, and building leadership skills and peer mentoring among teen and young parents.

The most important part of these projects is that members, especially parents and caregivers, strengthen and learn valuable, new skills that they can use to tackle other issues affecting the children and families in their community in the future. This process builds a community’s capacity to continue the work once First 5 LA’s support has ended. Through Best Start, new leaders emerge, who will go on to influence decision-making in their community. It is these new voices that will help make life better for children and pave the way for their success.   

How to Get Involved

We encourage you to be a part of this dynamic movement for change. While parents and caregivers are at the center of the Best Start effort because they are key to a young child’s healthy development, everyone has a role to play in improving their community and to ensuring that our children have the best start.  You can start by attending a Best Start Community Partnership meeting in your community. 

It is a chance to meet others with similar interests, who share a deep commitment to making a difference. To learn more, please visit the community pages below or call 213.482.7800.

 

Displaying 101-120 of 232 results.

Summary of the Best Start Commission Retreat
On Wednesday, June 26, 2013, First 5 LA’s Board of Commissioners held a retreat to discuss Best Start. The meeting goals were to provide an update...

Keeping Cool and Staying Fit in Palmdale
The sound of children playing drowned out the quiet roar of the air conditioning this weekend at the Palmdale Learning Plaza auditorium. The Get Up...

First 5 LA Listens and Learns from Best Start Communities
Members of the Best Start East LA Advisory Committee share ideas with Kim Belshé. In an effort to dig into the key questions about the strategies...

Special Meeting of the Commission - Best Start Commission Retreat
On Wednesday, June 26, 2013 First 5 LA’s Board of Commissioners will have a special, working meeting to discuss Best Start. The purpose of this...

Join Compton for A Stroll in the Park
Join us tomorrow, June 22nd, at Wilson Park from 10am to 2pm for A Stroll In The Park – a fun-filled family event that will include music &...

Get Up, Get Fit Palmdale!
Best Start Palmdale would like to invite Antelope Valley families to Get Up, Get Fit Palmdale, a fun-filled day of exercise and activity on June 29...

Dads Cooking in East LA
At a recent Best Start East LA meeting at the Centro Maravilla center, 15 smiling kids’ faces looked on as Chef Aaron Perez crushed corn...

Report from June 13 First 5 LA Commission Meeting
At the June 13, 2013 First 5 LA Board of Commissioners meeting, First 5 LA Executive Director Kim Belshé provided a presentation summarizing...

Potter the Otter Teaches Healthy Living in Panorama City
A talking Otter with a funny name might not sound like the best teacher, but that’s only because you haven’t met Potter yet. The friendly Otter...

Video: Walking Tour and Resource Fair Attracts Hundreds in Watts
On Saturday, May 18, 2013, Best Start Watts-Willowbrook hosted a Resource Fair at Ted Watkins Park in Watts that attracted more than 500 residents...

Panorama City & Neighbors invite you to Learn, Play, Grow Event
Join Best Start Panorama City & Neighbors this Saturday, June 8th, at their upcoming ready-for-kinder event, Learn, Play, Grow! The event will run...

Notes from Special Commission Meeting
First 5 LA Executive Director, Kim Belshé, provided an update on Best Start at the May 16, 2013 Commission Meeting. Linked below you'll find a...

Wilmington Police and Community Members Discuss Safety
The Best Start Wilmington Partnership invited the city’s law enforcement to take part in a discussion about the safety and unity of the surrounding...

Free Summer Programs and Low Cost Day Camps in Long Beach
Click the links below to find out more about free programs and low cost day camps taking place this Summer in Long Beach! Free Summer Fun Days Summer...

Video: Community Resources on Display in Broadway-Manchester
The First Annual Broadway-Manchester Gathering of Community Resources and Partners had a successful turnout with over 100 people in attendance...

Broadway-Manchester Play Day in the Park
Join Best Start Broadway-Manchester tomorrow for a Play Day in the Park! There will be fun activities for children and parents including a bicycle...

Watts-Willowbrook Community Walk and Resource Fair
Please join Best Start Watts-Willowbrook for a Community Walk and Resource Fair on Saturday, May 18, 2013! The walk begins at 9:00 a.m. at the Watts...

Community Walk and Resource Fair
Please join Best Start Watts-Willowbrook for a Community Walk and Resource Fair on Saturday, May 18, 2013! The walk begins at 9:00 a.m. at the Watts...

El Dia de los Niños at Belvedere Park
Come Celebrate El Dia de los Niños at Belvedere Park on Saturday April 27th. It will be a fun event for the whole family to celebrate children...

Good Reads Become Good Deeds in West Athens
The eager group of teenagers showed up at the Best Start West Athens booth at the Washington Prep High School with one purpose: to sign a pledge...
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