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East Palo Alto

Community Youth Engagement in East Palo Alto: A Study of the Youth Arts and Music Center Initiative

The Youth Arts and Music Center Initiative is a community-wide effort to design and build an arts center In East Palo Alto. The six-year process, supported by the Goldman Foundation, centered on youth leadership and the arts, and engaged a cross-sector collaborative of partner organizations in an attempt to address the city’s shortage of existing arts programming. This case study analysis of the Youth Arts and Music Center Initiative contributes to the existing literature of community youth engagement; that is, the process of engaging youth in efforts to improve their community.

Mapping Out-of-School Time Resources for East Palo Alto and Belle Haven Youth

In 2009, community leaders working with youth in the City of East Palo Alto (EPA) and the Belle Haven neighborhood of Menlo Park approached the Gardner Center with a need to better understand why many youth remain disconnected from the community’s youth service programs and agencies. The Gardner Center collaborated with these leaders to gather and analyze data to answer the following questions: (1) What programs are available to youth in the EPA and Belle Haven communities, and where are there gaps or duplication in available services?

Graduation Rates for East Palo Alto Students in the Sequoia Union High School District

High school graduation is a key indicator that school districts and policymakers use to measure school performance. There are different ways to calculate graduation rates, and their accuracy can be compromised by lack of available data when students transfer schools or districts. Community partners in East Palo Alto (EPA) asked the Gardner Center to examine graduation rates for all EPA public school students, a rate that has been previously difficult to ascertain.

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