El Monte City School District’s Kinder Readiness Program Redefines How Students and Families Prepare for Academic Success

January 25, 2022

For the second year in a row, CCF’s LA County Summer Learning Initiative supported learning and enrichment programs for low-income and vulnerable students in K-12 schools. Thanks to the generosity of donors and family foundations, $7.4 million in grants were distributed to 123 summer programs across Los Angeles County.

The LA County Summer Learning Initiative was launched to address the physical closures of schools and community centers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The disruption to traditional school operations exacerbated long-time gaps in educational opportunities and access along racial and socioeconomic lines for the County’s young people.

Among the recipients of the LA County Summer Learning Initiative grants was El Monte City School District (EMCSD) whose Kinder Readiness Program is redefining how students and their families prepare for academic success. “In a time that calls for high rates of parent engagement we wanted to provide families with a support network that not only focused on the student, but also provided parents with the knowledge they needed to be an active partner in their child’s education,” said Jessica Pardini, EMCSD’s Educational Technology Coordinator and main developer of the Kinder Readiness Program.

Like many other communities in Los Angeles County, El Monte’s population is highly diverse with 84% of its residents speaking another language other than English(1). “Providing parents with the resources they needed in their native language allowed us to break down the language barrier that often times alienates immigrant parents and keeps them on the sidelines,” said Christina Davila, Executive Administrator, Jeff Seymour Family Center. “A child’s ability to thrive academically is dependent on a multitude of factors — parent engagement being the most important.”

With the funding provided by the Summer Learning Initiative grant, EMCSD was able to coordinate weekly parent meetings to foster parent engagement and provide students with iPads, school supplies and literacy, math, and social-emotional lessons to prepare them to enter the classroom in the fall.

Only six months later the ripple effect of the Kinder Readiness Program is being felt across the district as parents and teachers are noticing higher levels of participation from students who were part of the program.

“In order for schools to help close educational gaps and try to create equity amongst students, we need to provide the resources and programs that can accomplish those goals,” said Ms. Pardini. “All students deserve a jumpstart to education and we can’t thank the LA County Summer Learning Initiative enough for giving us the ability to provide that boost to our students.”

To learn more about LA County Summer Learning Initiative, please contact Erin Limlingan at ELimlingan@calfund.org.


  1. El Monte, California Population 2021 (Demographics, Maps, Graphs) (worldpopulationreview.com)
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