In partnership with the Lake Avenue Church, our middle and high school students are invited to get away from the distractions of daily life to engage in age-appropriate Bible study, small group discussion, and worship that deepens their knowledge and relationship with Christ. They also provide adventurous outdoor experiences, that together provide an unforgettable experience.
The SKILLZ Summer School is an innovative, free summer learning experience hosted at Lake Avenue Church for teens most at risk of dropping out of school or failing to graduate. Our 7th session will be held at Lake Ave Church, June 6 – July 7, serving students entering 9th and 10th grades, who have multiple F grades and provides them with a supportive environment, high expectations and the opportunity to earn both elective and academic credits. By completing a mix of life skills workshops and academic classes, the students can earn up to ten school credits each. In addition to improving school success, SKILLZ helps increase the students’ confidence, motivation and social skills. Since 2010, the collaboration of Lake Avenue Church, the Lake Avenue Community Foundation, Day One, The Flintridge Center, PUSD and other community stakeholders has proven to be a resounding success. 70% of all SKILLZ students stated that they put more effort into their work at SKILLZ than at their school. 82% of SKILLZ students reported that they had a greater understanding of the subject matter as a result of their instructors. And 70% of students stated that for the first time they connected with an adult that they could talk to about the situations they faced in life!
Kids Reading to Succeed
Created in December 2008, the Kids Reading to Succeed (KRS) literacy program uses reading as an educational platform to empower youth from vulnerable communities in Pasadena, Altadena, and Los Angeles. KRS’ mission is to partner with local non-profit organizations, community programs, and schools to collaborate on long-term literacy projects which will not only instill a love of reading in our students but also help them use literacy as a tool to succeed in school and beyond.
The Republic of California Road Trip provides many of our students their first opportunity to travel outside of Los Angeles County, and experience their beautiful state! One of our SKILLZ partners mentioned to me recently that several students had never been to the beach; so you can imagine what a wonder it is to be a part of a trip like this. Secondly, unless the curriculum provides an opening for it, we don’t have a lot of opportunities to share our faith with the students unless we do so during non-instructional hours. The Adventure Road Trip gives LACF a tremendous opportunity to share the relevancy of our faith with students, but to also provide space away from home for students to plan for their future and put into practice the things learned throughout the year in STARS and SKILLZ while providing bonding moments that have proven to last a lifetime.
And best of all is the trip itself – in the years that I have attended these trips, I have experienced the splendor of Utah, the tranquil beauty of Wyoming and the mosquitos, oops, I mean the majesty of Colorado! Previous trips included waterskiing, tubing, blobbing, hot springs and more at Elephant Butte, New Mexico; horseback riding, high-ropes courses and 1st-class water-sliding in the Capitan mountains of New Mexico; and finally the awesome wonder of the Grand Canyon!! Being able to talk about faith and future plans in these amazing surroundings was extremely impactful with many students sharing of the courage they have found to live their dreams and faith with newfound companions.
This year’s trip was absolutely transformational for students and staff; and with a little rest, I can’t wait to do it all again.