Posts Tagged ‘kids’


Media contacts:


Theresa Gartland Rebecca O’Leary

tgartland@urbancompass.org rebecca.oleary@gmail.com

323.383.7588 323.791.4394



A fundraiser event benefitting Urban Compass and Pharmaka,

two non-profit organizations serving the Los Angeles urban community.

When:  Saturday, May 9th index_logo

6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Where: Pharmaka

101 West 5th Street

Los Angeles, CA 90013

Tickets: $30-$100





On May 9, 2009 Pharmaka will exhibit the ten original portraits from the Athlete Series by Andy Warhol, courtesy of Richard Weisman. Alongside the original Warhols will be artwork by the children in the Urban Compass program. All of the children’s work will be for sale.


Urban Compass is a nonprofit organization in Watts whose main goal is to keep children in school and out of gangs. Urban Compass provides a safe, welcoming, and innovative environment that challenges youth to envision and navigate a course for a rewarding future characterized by achievement, independent thought, and social responsibility through education, mentoring, and play.

Pharmaka is a nonprofit organization dedicated to building a creative and sustainable community in Downtown Los Angeles. It is Pharmaka’s intent to explore the place and purpose of contemporary art by engaging and educating the community of downtown Los Angeles through curated exhibitions, lectures, panel discussions, podcasts, and accessible community programming and events.

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001_06 I love this organization. Urban Compass does great work. This year they could really use our help. Please donate if you can. Thank you Theresa Gartland for turning me on to such an important cause!

read on…

Seasons Greetings!

Every day, there are children in Watts who choose to walk down a hopeful path towards a brighter future, despite everything they see at home. These children make life changing decisions guided by the positive influence of Urban Compass programs. The children in our program are born into a world where the prevalence of drugs and gang violence is the norm. Urban Compass encourages them to plan for a different future by continually promoting the importance of education and instilling a sense of accountability in our students.

As this year comes to an end, we look back on all of our achievements and enter the new year with great expectations for the continued success of our programs. We are grateful for our important community partnerships with 112th St. Elementary School, St. Michael’s Catholic School, Verbum Dei High School, and South Central Gifted Scholars. It is through these partnerships that Urban Compass achieves our goal of creating a path that offers continuing education from Kindergarten through college.

We enthusiastically plan for Urban Compass to continue to grow and thrive in this upcoming year. Our main goals for 2009 are to dedicate more time and resources to the Middle School Program, increase participant numbers, and to expose our students to more cultural events in the Greater Los Angeles Area.

The holiday season is the time to remember all of our blessings and to share our abundance with those who need more than we do. An end of year contribution enables Urban Compass to continue our work to better the lives of the people we serve. We hope you will join us on our journey to create change in the lives of very deserving children in underserved communities by remembering the Urban Compass family this holiday season.

Warmest wishes,


Theresa Gartland                 DeAnthony Langston

Program and Curriculum    Director Community Outreach Director



Don Morgan     Patrick McNicholas

Founding Board Member   Founding Board Member

Donation may be made online at www.urbancompass.org or mailed to Urban Compass

11100 South Central Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90059

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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 met Theresa a few years ago at my office with a few of her friends. She had a warm, even angelic sweetness to her. I asked her what she was doing in her life. She responded ” I work as a teacher in L.A.”. I thought Santa Monica or something similar. “Where?” I asked. “Compton”. 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.

Guiding Youth Toward a Hopeful Future

Theresa is now part of Urban Compass.

Urban Compass was formed in partnership with Verbum Dei High School and 112th Street Elementary School to combat poverty and violence and make a difference in the lives of children in Watts. Together they capture children
at a very volatile age and offer an alternative model for them: an environment that challenges our young people
to envision a rewarding future.

Urban Compass operates after school and summer programs at Verbum Dei High School to serve
students from 112th Street Elementary School and Sage Child Care Center. They provide tutoring
support, enrichment activities and field trips to keep the children engaged in a positive learning
experience – and off the streets.

Very important stuff. Giving kids the chance to enhance their lives in an environment that supports them.

In July, Urban Compass held a four-week summer camp for 15 students.
Participants and family members went on field trips each day; including
excursions to the Los Angeles Zoo, California Science Center, Hollywood
Bowl, and Cabrillo Aquarium.
The summer camp culminated at Mater Dei High
School, where Urban Compass participants spent a week with Mater Dei
students participating in academic, artistic, and athletic activities. This
program will be expanded next year to engage additional kids from Watts in
programs that keep them out of trouble through the summer months.

I am very supportive of this organization and the good they do. Volunteer opportunities are available for groups and individuals. In order to provide a stable presence in our participants’ lives, they ask that all volunteers commit to at least a semester of service (usually five months). Actual volunteer duties will be assigned in conjunction with interests and expertise. Ongoing training is provided. Background checks are required to work with children. For more information, please contact Urban Compass at (323) 383-7588.

Please feel free to donate online http://partners.guidestar.org/controller/searchResults.gs?action_donateReport=1&partner=networkforgood&ein=20-2438382

Thanks Theresa, for telling me about this wonderful non-profit. Keep up the good work!

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For those of you who don’t watch Oprah, her show yesterday was mind blowing.  I’m still nauseous and shocked.  I, as you probably do too, know that there are pedophiles preying on children.  I didn’t know how wide spread it was – probably because it isn’t talked about much.

Oprah prefaced the show by saying “What you are going to see is going to shock you to the core, but I’m asking you to please don’t turn away,” Oprah says, “because this is happening in our country to our children in the United States every day.”

Look at this picture of Oprah standing in front of a map where each red dot signifies a pedophile who is online viewing and committing crimes:

The map behind Oprah shows how quickly one pornographic image of a child being molested can spread. It starts with the large red dot from a computer in Washington, D.C. Within 24 hours, it has spread all across the United States—from coast to coast and north to south. “This is just an average day in America—24 hours,” Oprah says.

Now if this wasn’t bothersome enough to see how wide spread just the internet pedophiles are (keeping in mind that there are still plenty of people out there who don’t embrace technology) then the viewers heard “We’re seeing sexual abuse including oral penetration, vaginal, anal penetration,” says Michelle, another analyst. “We see children with dog collars on their necks. Kids with plastic bags over their heads. Foreign object insertion with these children.”

And they are filming this and sharing it with there network of sickos via the internet.

We also heard that these assaults are happening to younger and younger children because they can’t tell.

I couldn’t believe my ears but Yes – they are doing this to babies!

Still seared in my head from they show – they said that on videos you heard a baby giggle and gurgling and then it turns to a screaming cry because they are being hurt – I couldn’t hold back the tears. 

I am appalled that in this day and age of technology that these filthy predators are able to commit these heinous crimes with technology but we are not stopping them?  Why?

I learned that –

The Internet can sometimes seem like the Wild West for child predators—a place that largely operates outside the law. While trading in pedophile pornography is illegal, lack of adequate funding means law enforcement officials are able to investigate just 2 percent of their leads. And, according to Interpol statistics, only one-half of 1 percent are ever prosecuted.

It is so angering that the US spends money on so many useless things and lack of money is why these scum can still hurt innocent children.

So what can we do to help these children and change this?

Help Pass Senate Bill 1738—The PROTECT Our Children Act

Hundreds of thousands of children are victims of sexual abuse each year. Due to the sheer lack of resources, law enforcement is unable to follow up on the majority of leads they have.

The PROTECT Our Children Act will:

  • Authorize over $320 million over the next five years in desperately needed funding for law enforcement to investigate child exploitation.
  • Mandate that child rescue be a top priority for law enforcement receiving federal funding.
  • Allocate funds for high-tech computer software that can track down Internet predators.

Act Now!
Your U.S. senators will be voting on the bill soon, so it is crucial you contact them immediately.
Go to www.senate.gov to find contact information for the senators in your state. Search for your senator by name or state by clicking on the arrow from either dropdown menu. Contact information is provided here. To send an e-mail, click on “Web Form” below his or her name, and e-mail your letter to make a difference!

Call Your Senators
If you choose to contact your senators by phone, be sure to tell them, “Vote yes on Senate Bill 1738—The PROTECT Our Children Act.”

Write to Your Senators
If you choose to write a letter, fax, telegram or e-mail, you may use the following sample letter—and modify it how you see fit.

Dear Senator:

I know that you believe, like I do, that we must do everything possible to protect children from sexual predators. That is why I am asking for your help.

Last year alone, U.S. law enforcement identified over 300,000 criminals who were trafficking in movies and pictures of young children being raped and tortured. Experts say that one in every three of these criminals has local child victims. Child pornography trafficking over the Internet has given us a trail of evidence that leads straight to their doorsteps, but the vast majority of these children will never be rescued because investigators are overwhelmed, outnumbered and underfunded.

As your constituent, I urge you to do everything in your power to pass the PROTECT Our Children Act (S. 1738, Biden-Hatch). This bipartisan legislation passed the House 415-2, but it is now the victim of petty partisan politics.

Now that we know where these children are and how to protect them, there is no excuse for the Senate to fail to take action this session.

(Your name here)

Instructions for How to Copy and Paste the Letter
To copy and paste the letter into your senator’s web form at www.senate.gov, point your mouse arrow at the beginning of the text that you want to copy. Click your left mouse button and hold it down. While holding the left mouse button, drag your arrow to the end of the text that you want to copy. Release the button. The text should be highlighted. Place your mouse arrow over the highlighted text, click your right mouse button once and let go. A new menu should appear. Select Copy from the drop down menu. When you get to the message form field for your senator at www.senate.gov, point your arrow at the beginning of the message field that you want to copy your text to and right click with your mouse. Click Paste from this menu. Submit your form and help our children!


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I gave you love with a brand new start
Thats what you needed the most
To set your broken heart free

I know you cried, and you felt blue
But when I could I gave strength to you
Im waiting for the day when you can love again

“I’m Waiting for the Day” – The Beach Boys

No matter what one’s beleif system is, children should not suffer. This post is NOT about choosing sides in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Children shouldn’t have to use old shrapnel as a way to build a make beleive home for Barbie and Ken. I do not have the political insight to even try talking about this awful stalemate ( and yes,perhaps I should take the time to learn). Stagnation is a sure route to pain and violence. Kids battle this with one surefire method…Play!

A few days ago I had a wonderful introduction with Susan Abulhawa.

Playgrounds for Palestine was founded after Palestinian human rights activist, Susan Abulhawa, visited her home in Jerusalem after nearly 20 years in exile in August 2001.

The concept for building a playground for children who are exposed to blood and violence is a good and worthy one…I wish there were more like this. None of us know how many more tomorrows we have…especially these kids. I would think that they would spend many of those tomorrows at the playground…if they could. Once again Susan it was apleasure to meet you and I wish much success with this endeavor. Learn more at http://www.playgroundsforpalestine.org .

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I wish I could leap like this! However there would be a strong chance I would land on our dog Angel, roll out the door and land face first in the recycling bin. Our trip to D.C. gave us a chance to reunite with longtime childhood friend, Tony Powell. He introduced us to his lovely wife, Kellie and thier wonderful kids! What a prosperous and loving family. Kellie told a little about her passion for dance.

This gal has got dance in her blood. Kellie first entered the dance studio at the age of three. Through her many years of training, she studied ballet (both Vaganova & Cecchetti methods), pointe, tap, jazz, lyrical, & modern with her grandmother, a former Rockette. This training was supplemented and enhanced by her work at The Duke Ellington School for the arts and several professional dance companies. She was founding member and ballet mistress of Tony Powell/Music & Movement* , and Adrain Bolton Dance Company. With these very successful dance companies Kellie graced many area stages including such venues as The Kennedy Center, Dance Place, Publick Playhouse, and New York’s City Center.


Kellie also told us about her dance company”Fusion”…. She and her business partner Candra Preshong saw an opportunity to not only create dance scholarships for under privileged kids in the D.C. area but to work with schools and other non-profit organizations to support performing arts programs, parent teachers associations, and offer the services of our professional dance company to organizations that otherwise would not be able to afford it.

Did you know that kids who participate in dance are less likely to be overweight? Dance also teaches coordination and rhythm, while instilling discipline, increasing strength and improving posture. Kids also learn how to participate in a structured environment, follow directions, and have respect for themselves and others.

For adults, and especially seniors, dancing provides an opportunity for socializing and building relationships, as well as reducing stress and boosting their immune systems. And for kids and adults of any age – its just plain fun!

If you’d like to donate to this worthy organization –http://fusiondancecompany.org/Support3.html

* Tony, what’s a ballet mistress?

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Crayon sun above you
In a blue crayon sky
Little one, I love you
You’re the reason that
I am here.

Once inside just close the door
Leave the world behind.
Love is what we’re living for
Love and love alone
To be safe at home.

Crayon Sun- Michael Franks

Have you ever seen this type of face before? This is the type of look that can lead to frustration, anger, and adoption or at least some type of grandparent foster care. This is the look of my step-daughter relating how ‘freakin bored’ she is. This face cannot be soothed or comforted by games, snacks, or movies. For a 12 year old you’ve got to provide something different.

So… on a lazy Saturday afternoon Mom, Cassandra, and I sat down to do individual vision boards. I told everyone to grab poster board, magazines, scissors, and glue. To cut out words and pictures that would show their dreams, aspirations, and desires.

Something seemed to change about all three of us. We became more engaged, there was more laughter, and more creativity. It was wonderful to sit back and watch the two people that I love the most put together a collage of what ‘happiness’ meant to them. You can find out a lot by what people put on their vision boards. Creating friendships, creating more wealth and abundance, and health.

A little over two hours later, we were finished and we happily placed our visions up for everyone to see. I noticed the girls had big smiles on their faces. I would suggest that this is a great way for the family to spend time together that doesn’t consist of a TV or Playstation.

The end result was quality time and a much happier twelve year old!

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