Who are we?
TEACH (Together Educating and Advocating Community Health) is a student-run organization at UCLA that focuses on mentorship and health education for at-risk youth in the Venice area. We partner with the Venice Community Housing Corporation in order to provide tutoring, mentoring, and health education to elementary students at two community sites as a part of their after-school program called Study Lounge.
For TEACH volunteers, the program consists of a one year internship in which interns take two public health classes and conduct two quarters of field work. At site, interns spend time working with youth on homework as well as creating goals for each student focusing on health, academics, and social concerns. The later portion of each site visit consists of a public health module created by the interns to educate students on a specific health or science topic relating to the quarter's theme. Each group of interns goes to site once per week, but between all of the groups, TEACH volunteers are at site Monday through Thursday during the entirety of the school year.
In addition to serving as mentors and educators for the students at site, TEACH also provides books and school supplies to help students further their education with less of a financial burden. Also, in the study lounge program, students are at school or at a community center until 5:30 PM, so they need to be provided with snacks while at site. TEACH purchases snacks to give to students to allow them to learn and grow without worrying about being hungry.
In addition to their day to day work at site, TEACH organizes quarterly field trips for all of the students. These field trips are generally focused on having fun while learning and building meaningful relationships between students and interns that can serve as an inspiration and a resource to them. Previous trips have included the California Science Center, Knott’s Berry Farm, a robotics center, and bringing the students to UCLA.
Why do we need your help?
Unfortunately, almost all of the work that TEACH does requires significant monetary funding. We do the best we can to maximize every dollar, but our funding sometimes limits how much we can do for the students we work with. One significant expense for TEACH is transportation to and from site. As much as possible our interns and site coordinators drive themselves and other students to site, but the majority of our volunteers do not have cars, so we often have to rent BruinCars in order to get to and from site. This costs upwards of $55 for each rental but is a necessary expense because we must be able to get to and from site in order to serve the youth that we work with.
Our field trips are an extremely important part of what we do because, in addition to the opportunity for mentorship and bonding that they provide, they also serve as a reward to students for all of their hard work and help to inspire students by teaching them some of the things that they might be able to achieve in the future. However, these field trips are one of the most expensive things we do. We must pay for transportation to the site of the field trip, lunch for all of the interns and students, tickets, and more depending on the location of the trip. In order to continue to give our students valuable opportunities to learn and be inspired outside of the classroom, we need your support to help us pay for all of the expenses that come along with field trips.
Another expense for TEACH is snacks for the students at site. When students attend site they are either at school or at a community center until 5:30 PM, so they often get hungry while at site. TEACH helps to pay for snacks that are distributed to students each day at site so that they can focus on learning and growth without being hungry. With your help, we can ensure that students at Study Lounge never have to be distracted by hunger while trying to learn.
Periodically, TEACH also provides things like books and school supplies to the study lounge program. This is an important part of what we do because it allows students to further their learning, both inside the classroom and independently, without a greater financial burden being placed on them and their parents. We do our best with the funds we have but often are not able to provide as much as we would like to for students due to funding constraints. Your assistance can help to ensure that our students always have the resources to explore their interests and to be active participants in the learning process.
Below you can see a visual representation of how we will utilize your donations.
Why does your donation matter?
Your donation can help at-risk youth to maximize their educational experience which is an incredible gift to give. These children and their peers will, one day, be the leaders of our country and of the world. It is of critical importance that we invest in their education at an early stage in order to set them up on a trajectory of success. Investing in the education of at-risk youth can help to level the playing field for them so that they are better able to overcome the structural and interpersonal inequalities that they may face in life. Eventually, this will lead to a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive society. We are not claiming that the work that TEACH does will directly have significant structural impacts on society, but our work is part of a necessary effort to invest in early education and make it more equitable for people of all backgrounds. Your donation helps to ensure that every single student we work with has the resources available to them to gain a first-class education and pursue their dreams, regardless of their race, cultural background, or socioeconomic status.
Where can you find out more?
If you want to find out more about TEACH, check out our website at https://www.teachatucla.com/ or find us on Instagram (@teachatucla) and Facebook (TEACH at UCLA).