Children and families at the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools – located in the Pico-Union/Koreatown area of Los Angeles – face a unique set of challenges to health and wellness. Densely populated, and with a largely immigrant population, this low-income community has the nation’s highest TB rate, the second highest rate of unwanted teen pregnancy, and school dropout rates as high as 65%. The RFK Community Schools, like all schools in California, currently face a gap in comprehensive student support services and enrichment programs.
The UCLA Family Commons has embedded itself within the community of the RFK schools, working with principals, administrators, teachers, students, and their parents t to increase the opportunities for wellness, so that all children can live healthier lives. The model is built on coaching, which is proven to be one of the most effective tools to get and stay healthy – physically, emotionally and socially. However, The UCLA Family Commons approach to coaching takes place in the form of activities for parents and students, summer camps, and mentor programs for new mothers. Children and family members take part in after school workshops, summer camps, classroom-based social skills training, zumba, martial arts, and daily exercise sessions before school.