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Aetna Voices of Health Competition

Mar Vista Family Center



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Mar Vista Family Center

The Mar Vista Family Center (MVFC) provides low-income families with quality early childhood education, youth enrichment, and educational tools to create positive change in their lives and their communities.

Each year, nearly 1,200 children, teens and adults benefit from MVFC's facility and programs. Since 1977 our community has grown from six families to 300, and today 98% of MVFC staff members are local residents who have participated in the Center's programs. By focusing on community members of all ages, we are able to serve whole families from infancy to adulthood. MVFC serves communities from Del Rey, Mar Vista, Hawthorne, Inglewood, Los Angeles, Venice, and Culver City. 99% of the children and families we serve are Latino/Hispanic.

Through our three main program areas including Early Childhood Education, Youth, and Community, MVFC has helped transform a community once filled with urban gang violence, unsafe streets and drug trafficking into a thriving, healthy community. MVFC also integrates Health and Wellness Programming into our ongoing work, which includes ongoing nutrition and cooking classes, including our Preschool Nutrition Program, sports and dance programming.

MVFC's Early Childhood Education Program includes Baby & Me and the Preschool. Both are designed to support the academic, emotional, and physical development of children and encourage healthy parent-child bonding from infancy through age 5. The By Youth For Youth (BYFY) After-School Program features an array of educational and developmental activities that address the needs of children and youth, ages 5 to 18, struggling daily with the influences of poverty. Activities include a STEM program, College and SAT Prep services, job training, social entrepreneurship training, and Sports and Wellness programming. MVFC's Community Program facilitates the personal growth and life skills development of local residents so they can contribute to a safe and vibrant environment for themselves, their families and their community.

Over its 40-year history, MVFC has developed its unique Shared Responsibility Curriculum Model, built on academic theory and shaped by hands-on experience. The model is based on the understanding that we all have a role to play in improving our own lives and empowering ourselves to advocate for our families, as well as taking a leadership role in the community. Thus, in each of our core program areas, parents, children, and teens all get opportunities to learn, grow, and lead while giving back to the community and strengthening familial bonds. MVFC believes that involving parents as partners in their children's education benefits both parent and child. Each of our programs also features age appropriate life skills training for parents, helping them develop communication and parenting skills based on their children's age and developmental stage. All MVFC programs are designed to give families from disenfranchised communities access to educational opportunities that will help them overcome the barriers of poverty and reach their full potential.

Our contact info:

Mar Vista Family Center

Lucia Diaz, CEO
Phone: 310-390-9607

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