UCLA and Horace Mann Middle School in South Los Angeles are joining together to offer the Mann-UCLA Summer Institute, a suite of summer programs to be held at the middle school to boost educational success and opportunities for its students.

To celebrate student learning and this new venture, hundreds of middle school students gathered April 5 in the school auditorium with parents, teachers and school administrators, along with faculty and staff from the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies and other UCLA-affiliated organizations.

“There’s a lot of excitement in this building and in this community about our partnership to create bright futures for the students in this neighborhood,” said Karen Hunter Quartz, director of research and development for the UCLA Community Schools Initiative. “We are making real progress together.”

Karen Hunter Quartz/UCLA
Chelsea Salgado, an eighth grader at Horace Mann Middle School, welcomes Wasserman Dean Marcelo Suárez-Orozco of the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at an assembly to announce the new Mann/UCLA Summer Institute.

The event highlighted one of the first tangible elements of this partnership — the establishment of the Mann-UCLA Summer Institute. The institute will offer current and incoming Mann middle school students LAUSD instructional support to improve their math, reading and writing skills. The UCLA Visual and Performing Arts Education Program, which offers arts education courses, projects and public presentations to students and the community, will also help students develop as artists while supporting social and emotional development.

Students will have the opportunity to explore Chinese art, culture and language, and learn martial arts through programming from the UCLA Confucius Institute. There will also be a two-week computer coding academy for seventh grade students through 9 Dots, a group of engineers and educators who run afterschool programs in Los Angeles. The Young Scholars Program at UCLA’s Center X will also engage students in in-depth explorations of math, reading, writing, history and science.

Pending funding, some students will also have the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors at UCLA UniCamp, located at Camp River Glen in Big Bear.

“Our belief is that K-12 schools should not be separate from the UCLA community, but rather surrounded and supported by it,” said Jody Priselac, associate dean for community programs. “The summer institute is an important milestone in the development of a promising partnership and a great example of what can happen when we bring the resources and commitment of UCLA together with the ideas and talent of our public schools and the neighborhoods they serve.”

This story is posted on Ampersand, the online magazine for the UCLA School of Education and Information Studies.