learn / 2016

Inglewood Speaks: Young Podcasters Discover LA2050’s Homegrown Heroes

Inglewood Speaks: Young Podcasters Discover LA2050’s Homegrown Heroes

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Grants Challenge by Core Innovate, Inc. & Century Academy for Excellence

Middle school students from Inglewood’s Century Academy for Excellence will discover LA’s homegrown heroes by researching local issues LA2050 grantees are addressing and producing a podcast.


Are any other organizations collaborating on this proposal?

Century Academy for Excellence

Please describe your project proposal.

Core Innovate, Inc. will collaborate with Century Academy to develop and pilot citizen journalism curriculum that will result in middle school students producing a podcast about the work of LA2050 grantees. Students will research the issues that LA2050 grantees are addressing and will write about them using Mozi, Core Innovate’s writing software. Students will strengthen their communication skills as they research and produce podcast episodes that will tell the story of LA’s agents of change.

Which of the learn metrics will your proposal impact?​

  • Proficiency in English and Language Arts and Math
  • Suspension and expulsion rates
  • Truancy rates in elementary and middle schools
  • Youth unemployment and underemployment

In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • South LA
  • County of Los Angeles

Describe in greater detail how your proposal will make LA the best place to learn?

Core Innovate and Century Academy for Excellence will make Los Angeles the best place to learn by equipping middle school students with the skills and knowledge to communicate with confidence. This project has two key components: 1) developing and piloting a citizen journalism curriculum that fosters civic engagement in students and 2) producing a student-led season of a podcast that elevates the work of LA2050 grantees.

Core Innovate and Century Academy for Excellence will work together to develop a Common Core aligned curriculum that allows students to gain key 21st century learning and technological skills. The curriculum will be implemented at Century Academy for Excellence and will allow students to engage in real world, meaningful learning. Students will practice and strengthen their written communication with Mozi, Core Innovate’s writing software, that they will use to research and write in all subject areas. They will then apply this research to their interviews where they will practice and strengthen their oral communication as they listen, ask questions, and engage in conversation with interviewees. This will increase ELA proficiency as students practice reading, writing, listening, and speaking in all subject areas. As students learn how to produce a podcast, they will develop digital media skills and have greater facility with technology and software.

The development of communication and digital media skills in middle school youth will allow them to begin building their resumes that can be used to apply for a job in the future. While the students are gaining and strengthening skills in a meaningful way, they will learn how these skills are applicable to academic and career pathways. Not only will they learn how to be journalists, producers, and writers, they will have the opportunity to imagine a variety of possible futures and potential career pathways through their interaction with professionals from a variety of sectors. The expansion of their skills and social capital will be critical in addressing youth unemployment and underemployment rates.

Research shows that engaging students in real world, meaningful learning leads to increased student engagement. When students are engaged, they are more likely to attend school and engage in appropriate behavior. The curriculum will allow students to learn about organizations that are innovating to move LA2050 closer to reaching its goals and the podcast will engage students in meaningful storytelling. This project will give underrepresented students the opportunity to contribute to the dialogue about what makes Los Angeles the best place to learn, connect, play, create, and live.

Because we’re developing and piloting this curriculum with the goal of replicating across Los Angeles, we believe that this project will make LA the best place for youth to learn and become civically-engaged citizen journalists.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.​

This project aims to 1) Develop and pilot a citizen journalism curriculum that is replicable and 2) Increase student knowledge, technical skills, and confidence in communicating using a variety of mediums. We will measure success based on the following:

Percent of students who gain a thorough understanding of all the steps involved in producing a podcast Percent of students who report increased skill and confidence using technology Percent of students who improve their writing skills Percent of students who report a deeper understanding of how different organizations are working to improve the lives of Angelenos and the importance of civic responsibility Percent of students who report a deeper understanding of how to find resources to meet a variety of needs Production of 20 podcasts Development and implementation of a pilot curriculum that can be replicated in classrooms across Los Angeles Teacher satisfaction with rigor of lessons Interviewee satisfaction with experience

We will administer pre and post surveys to students to assess skills, knowledge, and understanding of issues. We will use progress toward mastery data from Mozi to understand the impact on their writing skills. We will gather teacher and interviewee feedback through one-on-one discussions.

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed?

  • Money
  • Volunteers
  • Advisors/board members
  • Publicity/awareness
  • Community outreach
  • Network/relationship support
  • Quality improvement research