Over 1.8 million nonprofits and charities for donors, volunteers and funders

Urban Compass

Rating: 5 stars   5 reviews 747

Address:

11100 South Central Ave Los Angeles CA 90059 USA

Mission:

Urban Compass provides a safe, welcoming, and innovative environment that challenges our youth to envision and navigate a course for a rewarding future characterized by achievement, independent thought, and social responsibility through education, mentoring, and play.

Geographic areas served:

Watts

Programs:

Program and academic progress:with many of our students not reading at grade level at the start of the academic year, we implemented weekly reading activities from the reading a-z online program. Each week, on extended tuesday sessions, urban compass staff prepared activities and a-z books from the online program specific to each child's reading fluency score. An analysis of students' first and final report cards revealed a 24. 2% increase in the number of students earning a proficient (3) or advanced proficient (4) grades in reading. In addition to improved reading scores, math grades of proficient and advanced also improved by 13. 5% and homework completion grades improved 16. 2%, a core focus area for our program. During the 2013-14 academic year, urban compass students improved in all grade areas, both in academic and work habits categories, such as the ability to work well in groups and positive social interaction with peers. School attendance rates for urban compass students continue to exceed the rates of 112th st. School and lausd, with over 76% of students hitting the 96% attendance target. In june 2014, all 5th grade and kindergarten students successfully culminated and 100% of urban compass students moved on to the next grade level, affirming that all students met the grade-level standards to continue to the next grade. For the first time, urban compass offered a middle school tour, modeled after the college tour process, to help 5th grade families find a school together that best fits their academic needs. Staff helped 5th grade students successfully transition into local charter schools such as green dot public school's animo james b. Taylor middle school where we have forged a positive relationship and systems to offer continued support for urban compass students. During the 2014-15 academic year, we are also proud to report that so far our students have made huge improvements on their first two report cards. To continue our focus on reading in 2014-15, we have created weekly book clubs based on the students' reading scores from the previous year so that we can offer tailored intervention and support to students based on ability and grade level in these three different groups. The percent of students achieving proficient or advanced scores in reading has already gone up 6% and math scores have improved 16% so far! We've also already noticed a 14% increase in grades for cooperation in groups. Urban compass looks forward to another successful end to the academic year. Beyond core academic and enrichment activities, there is also a focused effort toward family engagement programs and referrals so that parents/guardians can access tools and resources to support themselves and their child's academic career. This year, urban compass partnered with parent college, an educational empowerment program for parents to learn various ways to support their child's education. In february 2015, uc families joined the family university day program at california state university los angeles, where they attended workshops on the college application process, toured the campus, and heard from faculty and current students. Urban compass also hosts its own parent workshops to instruct parents on how to properly read their child's school report card in order to understand and interpret their child's strengths and weaknesses, as well as have an informed conversation with their teachers. We share data on student attendance, program successes, and celebrated parents for their child's improvement in core areas. Certificates of appreciation were awarded to parents with children who demonstrated positive achievement and improved grades on their report cards. Urban compass has worked hard to create a supportive culture of learning for our parents. Staff surveyed parents to learn more about any areas of need and future topics of interest. Urban compass also recently launched our uc family rewards program, which rewards parents and families for their positive engagement in urban compass and at their school site. Prizes and recognition are offered all year round for parent participation!

high school and university/college volunteer programs:our high school volunteer program included 221 high school students from verbum dei high school totaling 2,110 hours of service, homework help, and positive mentorship at the end of the 2013-14 school year. Working with these college-bound eagles who have a 100% college acceptance rate is a core part of our success. Out of the 221 high school volunteers, we were proud to award a total of $1000 in scholarships to three outstanding graduates who are headed to three different colleges. College and university student volunteers are also an integral part of our program. Urban compass had over 50 active college volunteers dedicate 922 hours during the 2013-2014 school year, and 67 volunteers during the 2014-15 year so far. We are happy to have secured so many great college partners like university of southern california and loyola marymount university, and have also added california state university-dominguez hills. Crimson circle, a male student service organization from loyola marymount university, has remained an active volunteer group for our program and visit on a weekly basis and supports academic, social, and recreation activities.

summer camp 2014:each summer, urban compass hosts its own summer camp for students in 1st-5th grade in order to reduce the academic gap that often occurs during these off months. We held our 4-week summer camp in the month of july and included morning academic support, daily journals, summer reading program, math challenge, arts and crafts, field trips, and fun enrichment programs. Urban compass was also able to offer its first hot summer food program to participants thanks to partner falcons youth and family services. Daily snacks and a hot lunch were provided for each child, a wonderful component appreciated by parents. Summer programming factored in student progress reports and grades from the academic year in order to continue meeting the academic needs of participants. The continued emphasis on reading also helped students as they earned fun incentives and prizes for each completed book and book report submitted during our "road to reading" summer challenge. For the first time, urban compass partnered with the gang alternatives program (gang-free life) to offer weekly gang prevention sessions for students during the summer and will also continue to provide these lessons during the academic year. This important life skills program is much needed for our youth who witness gang activity on a daily basis in the community of watts and nickerson gardens, which often impacts their own families. Following morning academic programs, students were treated to daily field trips and special events in and around los angeles to promote additional learning and fun experiences outside of their neighborhood. A diverse lineup of activities was created to meet both recreation and academic needs, which included: bubblemania, a puppy party, reptile show, buccaneer bay water park, surfing/beach day at zuma beach thanks to partner the children's lifesaving foundation, summer movies, ice skating, roller skating, peterson automotive museum, natural history museum, california science center, mad science hand-on science fun, special fitness session with catz trainers, a vip tour of the hawthorne airport, lyric theatre, mulligan's family fun center, and a trip to six flags magic mountain!

Write a Review
Donate
Invite Reviews Share This Nonprofit

More Info

323-383-7588
www.urbancompass.org

Filter Reviews by Role

Promote This Nonprofit

GreatNonprofits badges allow you to raise awareness of your favorite nonprofits on your own web sites!

Review this charity on
GreatNonprofits

Reviews for Urban Compass

Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

I had the privilege of interviewing several Urban Compass students about their connection with nature. Because Urban Compass is located in the heart of gang activity in Watts, I assumed these children would not have much interest in nature. I was amazed to find that these children, who have it so tough, still have their hearts open. Several of them were able to describe truly contemplative and peaceful moments in nature. Urban Compass is largely responsible for this connection because they have taken kids out of the city on surfing and whale watching field trips. Those experiences were mentioned by most of them. Urban Compass also organized a planetarium trip and afterward two of the girls' mothers spread blankets for them in their backyards and they recounted joy in looking up at the stars. Urban Compass is doing a tremendous job helping these kids stay open to possibility. It is an organization that is effectively keeping the futures of these inner city children as bright as their spirits.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

bright and enthusiastic. They showed topnotch organizational skills and a contagious enthusiasm about serving the Watts community. The combination seems to have captivated Urban Compass students and their families alike.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-8-01

 
Flag review
Rating: 5 stars  

11 people found this review helpful

Urban Compass serves the children, families and community of Watts in Los Angeles, and it has been amazing to see the positive impact the organization has had there. The structured curriculum teaches the children how to study and the after-school events give them a view of life outside of Watts. Theresa & DeAnthony have forged mutually beneficial partnerships with local schools, other non-profits, and community groups.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Making a positive impact on the lives of children from Watts

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Helping Los Angeles become a better place.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Dedicated, passionate and caring.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Literally change Watts, change Los Angeles, and change California for the better!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-7-01

 
Flag review
Rating: 5 stars  

14 people found this review helpful

I have had the good fortune of watching Urban Compass grow from a simple desire to help a community to a full-functioning program that guides children from Kindergarten through college. DeAnthony and Theresa run a program that provides hope in a place where hope is a scarce commodity. The model they continue to perfect will be an important template for other communities in search of a partnership-based structure that gives kids a chance to set goals and achieve them.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

watching its participants excel in the classroom and grow personally.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

watching it become a part of the community it serves.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

perfect mentors for the participants.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

replicate itself in other communities, creating a pipeline for progress in each neighborhood.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-8-01

 
Flag review
Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

14 people found this review helpful

My job has introduced me to many fascinating people. People with vision. Folks who truly want to bring forth change. Theresa Gartland is one of them.I looked at Theresa, she seemed to have more in common with suburbia than the inner city. I asked her why. She replied “I want to help”…straight and to the point. Her dream is to help others achieve their dreams.Urban Compass dream of giving kids a good environment for after school activities is not only noble, its smart. Especially given that these kids are surrounded by some of the most notorious gangs in L.A.!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Better place itself within the Watts community. Taking kids to more educational and informative venues. Assisting tutorial programs and increasing the chances of life outside of gangs... even branching out into other gang ridden communities

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-5-01

 
Flag review
Rating: 5 stars  

14 people found this review helpful

I have been lucky enough to meet the children of Urban Compass that participate in the after-school program - playing games, participating in artwork. Their enthusiasm and appreciation for the program is so evident. One leaves feeling lucky to have spent time with them. I feel honored to volunteer my time to support an organization that provides a safe, supportive and educuational environment for these amazing children of Watts, Los Angeles!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have seen how learning to paint and learning about art in general had a major impact on several children. Specifically, helping some children work through some difficult situation in their lives.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Working with the amazing and dedicated Program Director and getting to know the children. Also, I have become more educated about Watts, Los Angeles and its own particular socio-economic issues.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Warm, kind and patient. Extremely dedicated.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Really develop an solid, repeatable strategy and begin replicating this model in other cities.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-8-01

 
Flag review