George McKenna wins LAUSD School Board, LAPD reacts to South LA death + USC attackers plead not guilty

George McKenna |

LA School Report: George McKenna won the District 1 seat of the LAUSD School Board covering a swath of South L.A., beating opponent Alex Johnson with 53 percent of the vote. Just 8 percent of eligible voters turned out for the runoff election.

LA Times: The LAPD provides details on the controversial killing of 25-year-old Ezell Ford in South L.A.

Reuters: Four teenagers pleaded not guilty to the fatal attack of USC engineering graduate student Xinran Ji.

LA Weekly: South LA’s KIPP Empower Academy Charter School in the Vermont Knolls neighborhood is named as one of the “awesome LAUSD schools in affordable neighborhoods” in a piece by our colleague Ani Ucar from Annenberg Radio News.

NBC: School is back in session, and things are starting to get back to normal at Miramonte Elementary, the South L.A. campus plagued since 2012 by reports of child abuse.

KCET Artbound: The old church at 49th and Compton is actually a modernist gem by architect Rudolph Schindler.

CityWatch: Is predatory loaning happening in South L.A.?

South LA first graders talent show raises funds for trip

imageA group of 21 first grade students from KIPP Empower Academy (KEA) in South LA are heading to Orlando this summer. The six-year-old steppers and breakdancers, known as StepUP—BreakDOWN, recently won a national competition and were selected to perform at the Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP) School Summit, an annual learning and community-building event that attracts teachers, school staff, funders and community partners from all over the country who want to transform public education.

In order to attend the summit, the kids needed to raise funds for the trip. So, they held a talent show fundraiser this past Saturday. The event was a success and now the students will get a chance to participate in the KIPP School Summit.

imageThe support the students received “will give them an opportunity to show people from all over the nation that with hard work and perseverance, they can do anything,” said Mike Kerr, KEA founding principal in a statement.

In order to be on the step and breakdance team, the students must maintain good grades and demonstrate positive character at the South Los Angeles KIPP elementary school.

KEA is a college-preparatory, tuition-free public charter elementary school in South Los Angeles that serves about 230 kindergarten and first grade students in 2011-12, with plans to add one grade each year until it reaches capacity in 2014 with 550 students in kindergarten through fourth grade.

You can see an amateur video of Saturday’s performance here: