Crossroads is an independent school strengthened by its public efforts. INSTITUTIONAL COMMUNITY SERVICE is a unique leadership program conceived of by Crossroads School to share its resources with the underserved in our broader Los Angeles community. Throughout the School’s history, community service has been an integral part of the kindergarten through twelfth grade curriculum, as well as a graduation requirement. Requiring of itself what it has always required of its students, institutional community service was a natural evolutionary step and a deep reflection of the School’s founding mission and community values.
“I think the best way for independent schools to be embraced by their communities is to become an active participant in them. As long as independent schools serve only their own, regardless of what else they do, they will be perceived as elitist institutions, gated and moated and inaccessible. To be a genuine part of the community, independent schools must use their extraordinary resources and networks to get out into the community and make a difference.” – Roger Weaver, former Headmaster of Crossroads School and President of the Crossroads Community Foundation
History and Accomplishments
In 1984, the Crossroads Community Foundation was created with then Head of School Paul Cummins as founder and Executive Director. By 1990, with initial funding from the Herb Alpert Foundation and Crossroads School, CCF’s first project, P.S. Arts was launched.
As a commitment to the arts was one of the School’s core founding values, and in response to the fact that arts budgets in Los Angeles public schools had essentially been eliminated, CCF sought to develop quality arts programs for public schools that reflected the Crossroads curriculum and philosophy. P.S. Arts, was created to provide children with life enhancing music, visual arts and drama programs. Enormously successful, P.S. Arts now serves more than 11,000 students and has become its own entity.
In 1994, Paul Cummins established New Visions Foundation. Its mission was to found schools based on the Crossroads philosophy, and to provide substantial financial aid to their populations. This highly successful educational innovation launched New Roads School in 1995, which now has three campuses and each year serves more than 650 elementary, middle and upper school students. New Visions, in partnership with other charter schools, has been an active partner in the founding of several new schools, such as the much-heralded Camino Nuevo School located near downtown Los Angeles.
Crossroads Community Outreach Foundation
In 2004, the Crossroads Community Foundation (CCF) was reconstituted as the Crossroads Community Outreach Foundation (CCOF). With then Headmaster, Roger Weaver, as President and former Director of Institutional Advancement, Gennifer Yoshimaru as Vice President, the first two years were spent researching, identifying, and evaluating a wide variety of potential partnerships and programs. After careful and thorough examination, CCOF determined its initial focus:
Partnership with Saint Anne School in support of their founding policy of “exercising a preferential option for the poor” and providing them with a quality education.
Development and implementation of P.S. Science, a program designed to provide an engaging and exploration-based science experience to young children at underserved public schools.
In 2006, the Saint Anne Support Council and P.S. Science were launched as projects of CCOF.
In 2009, CCOF expanded the P.S. Science program to William Green, a Title I elementary school in Lawndale. The St. Anne Support Council became a consultative board for Saint Anne School. The Saint Anne Support Council has raised in excess of $900K in support of the School’s mission to serve the working poor.
In 2010, Crossroads School’s Elizabeth Mandell Music Institute (EMMI) and Crossroads Community Outreach Foundation and SOL-LA Music Academy formed a partnership with Saint Anne School to provide music education to underserved children. Saint Anne School Support Council is strong and independent enough for CCOF to reduce its involvement.
In 2013, P.S. Science will serve 625 students and 24 teachers in three schools. In October PS Science expanded into its third school site at McKinley Elementary School in Santa Monica.
In 2014, P.S. Science will serve 725 students and 28 teachers in three schools. PS Science will expand to the second grade classes at McKinley Elementary School in Santa Monica, in addition to first grade and will continue to deliver the program to grades 1 to 3 at William Green Elementary School in Lawndale and Saint Anne School, the only nonpublic Title I school, in Santa Monica.
For more information about Crossroads Community Outreach Foundation, please contact Julie Olds at JOlds@xrds.org.
Crossroads Upper School students Eloise Gibbin, Remi Godinez and Jackson Stogel took first place in the 2013-14 First Freedom Student Competition for their video, “Should the U.S. Advance Religious Freedom?” Read more about the competition here.