Model Program

LA's BEST After School Enrichment Program

200 N. Spring Street, M-120
Los Angeles, CA 90012

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Contact Information:
Miss Zainab Ali
Communications Manager

Program Specification:






Strong Evidence of Effectiveness

Age/Grade Level:

Target Settings:

Target Groups:



Grade Level


Other Participation Criteria:

All Ethnicities


LA's BEST - Better Educated Students for Tomorrow - is a nationally recognized after school education, enrichment and recreation program serving more than 28,000 children with the greatest needs and fewest resources throughout the City of Los Angeles. LA's BEST After School Enrichment Program provides a safe haven for children ages 5 to 12 at 180 elementary school sites each day during the critical hours after school - at no cost to parents. Established in 1988, LA's BEST is a partnership including the City of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Unified School District and the private sector. The program has five goals: (1) a safe environment, (2) enhanced opportunities through the integration of an educational support structure, (3) educational enrichment activities to supplement and deepen the regular program, (4) recreational activities, and (5) interpersonal skills and self-esteem development.

Program Descriptors Include:
Academic Improvement, Community Collaboration, Extended-School/Summer Program, Extra Curricular, Family/Parental Involvement, Life Skills Training

Starting Date: 1988
Students Served Per Year: 500+
Last Verified: 2009

Risk Factors:

Protective Factors:

Program addresses the following:

Individual factors

  • High-risk peer group
  • Low achievement
  • Poor attendance
  • Low educational expectations
  • Lack of effort
  • Low commitment to school
  • No extracurricular participation

Family factors

  • Low socioeconomic status
  • Low educational expectations
  • Low contact with school

Community factors

  • Family composition/socioeconomic status
  • Local labor market/neighborhood stability
  • Youth social attitudes

Program promotes the following:


  • Presence and involvement of caring, supportive adults
  • Clear social norms
  • Involvement with positive peer activities


  • Healthy/conventional beliefs and standards


  • Social competencies


  • High expectations by community, family, school, and self

Program Resources:

Annual Cost:

The annual cost range of the program is over $500,000 or over $2000 per student.

Funding Sources Include:

Program Staff Includes:

Federal Agencies
State Agencies
Local/City/County Agencies


Materials Used:

Supporting / Partner Organizations:


City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles Unified School District (Beyond the Bell)

Evaluation Information:

UCLA's Center for Research, Evaluation, Standards and Student Testing found that LA's BEST students are 30% less likely to commit juvenile crime (September 2007) and 20% less likely to drop-out (December 2005) than non-participants. Two quasi-experimental studies, one following students for two years and the other for four years, have been conducted on the impact of LA's BEST on participants. Dosage of the program was key to successful outcomes. Those students with the highest participation levels (more than 75% of days present), as compared to the comparison group: had fewer absences, had higher achievement on standardized tests, liked school more, and had higher expectations of how far they would go in school.

How evaluation data was collected:
Outside experimental studies
Data collected and analyzed at state or organizational level

Additional Evaluation Information: