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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 121-140 of 261 results.

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...

No Excuse for Child Abuse
"Kevin ‘D.J.' King: 5 years old. Blunt force trauma to chest and abdomen.""German Hipatl: 8 months old. Suffocated." "...

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...

Trinity Park Mothers Lauded
When Trinity Mothers For Action first began meeting in 2012, they had an unwanted audience. Local gang members would keep an eye on them as the women...

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...

Potter the Otter Makes a Splash at Drew CDC Event
The Best Start Watts-Willowbrook booth was a big hit at the Resource and Information Fair last month where nearly 400 community residents and...

Feria de Salud Unites Community
Tiny hands passed out books and brochures earlier this month as the children of volunteers for Best Start Panorama City & Neighbors did their...

Video: Best Start East Los Angeles Hosts Play Day at Obregon Park
Why are Play Days so important? Watch as the Best Start East Los Angeles Community answers that question while enjoying a Play Day in Obregon Park on...

Broadway-Manchester Parents Take Part in Sports and Health Fair
The Best Start Broadway-Manchester Community took part in The Third Annual Sports and Health Fair at the Rita Walters Learning Complex on March 9 to...

West Athens Campaign Kicks off with Help from Dr. Seuss
Parents in West Athens have a message for their community: “It Starts with Us.” That’s the name of their new year-long campaign...

Best Start Update from Kim Belshé
Attached is a letter from First 5 LA Executive Director Kim Belshé to members of the Best Start Communities with updates and important...

South LA Vendor Pool Workshop
Save the Date / Mantenga la Fecha South LA Vendor Pool Workshop / Taller para vendedores del Sur Los Angeles The Best Start South LA region will...

Walk Long Beach
In September 2009 the YMCA of Greater Long Beach received a grant to implement the Pioneering Healthy Communities (PHC) project. This grant, funded by...

Bloom in a Green Space Desert
A year ago, Leticia Lemus was playing with her three children at Manchester Park in south central Los Angeles when she heard the "pop pop pop&...
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