We believe in the children, youth, and families we serve. Our model fosters pathways to success through excellence in education, powerful families, and strong communities for children and youth to thrive.

Our History


Para Los Niños continues to serve L.A.’s neediest children and families, placing education at the core of our work. In keeping with our original mission to help children thrive, our model – of early-education, TK-8th grade education, youth workforce services, and family and community services – provides a comprehensive, holistic approach to break the cycle of poverty and help children, youth, and families reach their full potential.


Para Los Niños opens the Charter Middle School (grades 6-8) in the Garment District (co-located with the same LAUSD Ninth Street Elementary school the after-school program started in decades before!), expanding PLN’s impact across the Skid Row area in Downtown Los Angeles.


BSMLA focuses on supporting a community’s ability to foster and sustain healthy and thriving environments for families.

Para Los Niños opens the Evelyn Thurman Gratts Primary Center, and formalizes their partnership with First5LA for the Best Start Metro LA (BSMLA) pilot community.


Para Los Niños added its first Youth Source Center in East LA, contracting with the City of Los Angeles Economic and Workforce Development Department to work with youth ages 14-24 on college and career readiness.


Responding to the needs and demands of the families we serve, Para Los Niños become a school operator and opened the Charter Elementary School in the Arts District of Downtown Los Angeles.


PLN receives the largest Family Preservation grant in L.A. County’s history – for its innovative, integrated approach to family support and expands the Family Resource Center to serve more clients directly and through local non-profit partnerships.


Para Los Niños continues to grow and address the increasing numbers of children living in poverty; operating the original childcare and development center and a school-age center for kids K-6th grade. Para Los Niños’ reputation also grows: The after school “Latchkey Program” receives major state funding enabling the program to serve 150 children daily at the downtown Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Ninth Street Elementary School. The Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Project receives one of nine state-wide grants from the California State Office of Child Abuse Prevention in recognition of the innovative program.


The expanded space and financial stability allows for the growth of Para Los Niños. The services and programming expand to include after-school across over a dozen inner-city schools, and starting wraparound support for families through a Family Crisis Center serving the homeless and those most in need in the Skid Row area.

A grant of $100,000 from the Weingart Foundation enables Para Los Niños to purchase the original warehouse, an adjacent warehouse and a parking lot/playground. A third warehouse next door is leased — and the new properties are extensively renovated.


Inspired by a Los Angeles Times article in (1979) about the plight of children living on Skid Row in Downtown Los Angeles, Social Worker Tanya Tull was moved to act and begin the process to create the first children’s social services agency in the area, Para Los Niños.

Securing a $5,000 grant, Para Los Niños leased a 5,000-square-foot warehouse in Skid Row and enrolled its first 50 children.


Our leadership team – comprised of licensed professionals, community leaders, and devoted alumni – is a passionate, talented network of professionals committed to uplifting our families out of poverty and into brighter futures.


We rely on the generous investment of individuals, corporations, and foundations to fill the gaps in state and government funding. All of our donors are critical to our ability to give children, youth, and families the strongest partnership to thrive.


We don’t do this work alone. We have hundreds of partners who help to drive our mission forward and support all in our communities to thrive.


“We are reminded constantly of the power of what our organization does and has done for more than four decades to help the neediest children in our city.”

-Marjorie Lewis, Board Chair


PLN has locations across the Los Angeles area offering education, empowerment, and strength for our communities.

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