top of page

Santa Monica Community Explorer Program 

Fall - 2014

Week One: September 21 
Service 101  
For Kids and Parents

Welcome to KidUnity!  Our kick-off at the New LA Charter School will set the stage for the weeks to come.  Students will learn about the vital role the school plays in the community.  The session will feature a fun hands-on, team-building project.  In addition, the school's founder and Educational Director will join us.  He will speak about the process of creating the school, the role of philanthropy in that process, and how he makes funding decisions for the school.  The students will use this framework throughout the semester as they meet with other non-profit and civic leaders – leading to a funding decision of their own in Week Eight!  Learn, Do, Give!

Week Three: September 30
Corporate Philanthropy and Social Responsibility

Corporations often play a role in addressing community issues, but often do so in opaque ways.  The focus of this session will be to uncover what corporations can and are doing for the community. KidUnity will meet at California Pizza Kitchen where the students will discuss CPK’s local and national community programs.  Students will then make pizzas with CPK chefs for a local homeless shelter.  The session will conclude with students delivering  and serving their pizzas to a local homeless shelter.   

Week Two: September 23
Investigating our Community

This session will teach the fundamental tools of social investigation. KidUnity will meet at the offices of the Santa Monica Mirror and learn from the publisher and reporter about important community issues and how a local newspaper investigates and reports news. Students will have time to practice newly acquired interview skills with a panel of community leaders. Our concluding reflection will allow students to pitch story ideas and brainstorm about how such stories could be investigated, cumulating in a story which may be published in the SM Mirror! 

Week Four: October 7
The Importance of Home

During our visit to Upward Bound House students will gain an understanding of the problem of homelessness in our community and strategies to address this problem. Students will help in the Upward Bound House food pantry and decorate an apartment for a homeless family. They will leave the session with food that will serve as their own family’s dinner that evening, and food for thought.

Week Five: October 14

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

This session, located at the Santa Monica Community Recycling Center, will give students a behind-the-scene look (and smell) at how waste and recyclables are managed in our own backyard. Amidst the tons of condensed plastic bottles and paper, students will craft practical and immediately actionable proposals to promote recycling and environmental awareness. 

Week Seven: October 28


Students will have an opportunity to reflect on their previous sessions by documenting and sharing their work in a variety of ways.  They will write blog posts for KidUnity, and establish a KidUnity twitter feed and Facebook presence.  They will also prepare a slideshow that will be presented at the final session, work their newspaper story for the SM Mirror, and finish with a grant proposal.

Week Six: October 21

The Role of Local Government

This session will introduce the students to the Santa Monica City Council and illuminate the role of local government. Students will have an opportunity to advocate to City Councilmembers and city staff about the social challenges that the students encountered and learn about the roles local government plays in addressing these challenges.  The session will end with students writing a grant proposal to fund a need in the community.

Week Eight: November 2

What Does It All Mean?

Students will host an end-of-semester event at the Milken institute where they will share their new insights into their community, advocate for changes they believe are necessary, and announce their funding award(s)!   Community leaders, non-profit executives and students’ peers and families will attend this capstone event to celebrate the students efforts!

* All session, lesson plans and locations are subject to change based on partner organization schedules.  Please consult the website in advance of each session for an up-to-date schedule!

bottom of page