What is Kid City?

     "Leadership is taking responsibility for the things you care about."

Kid City is a program of the Los Angeles United Methodist Urban Foundation and the Los Angeles First United Methodist Church. Read more at www.urbanfoundation.org!

At Kid City, we care about kids. Our program supports children and teens as we together build a community of healthy, aware, civic-minded and college-bound youth leaders. Activities at Kid City address one or more of three priorities: 

(1) college readiness – The best academic enrichment is to help kids think, create, work, write, and challenge themselves. But staff and volunteers also offer high-level math tutoring to help students excel in calculus, physics, and statistics; personal statement workshops and coaching; college access mentoring and support; financial aid and FAFSA workshops, SAT prep.

(2) job readiness – Every summer Kid City's jobs workshop prepares student to receive a Work Readiness Certificate from the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce' Job for Kids program. We also create multiple levels of volunteer and work experience with meaningful training and assessment for Kid City teens and children. Other ways we prepare youth for jobs? internships, career days, and mentoring!

(3) College persistence - College acceptance is just the beginning. Kid City connects first year students to second and third year student ambassadors, who orient them to the college environment. We send care packages, check in through social media, and offer study skills and academic counseling during winter, spring, and summer breaks. We make use of all resources, including connecting our students to many on and off campus resources that can offer all kinds of support during the school year.

(4) healthy living – We provide healthy and delicious snacks, and a program of activities that has included yoga, martial arts classes, dance, and swimming lessons. We also take students on hikes, camping trips, and an annual water conservation educational trip to Mono Lake.

(5) leadership - Leadership development with youth is in our Kid City DNA. Kids and families are required to pitch in with setup, cleanup, program development, workshop facilitation, public speaking, snack-making, and fundraising. Youth participate as leaders in all aspects of the program, and are expected to pass on their knowledge to the younger cohorts. Leadership culminates annually in Kid City's Splash of LA event - a family friendly fundraiser held in our parking lot every August. Please come and support these amazing kids!

You may not have seen a leadership program like Kid City before -- where staff create and sustain centers of interactivity, discovery, learning and support for children as they grow into young adults:

-- Kid City is multi-age, serving kids from middle school through college, with young adult and older adult staff. Instead of segregating kids by age groups, we encourage kids to guide and inspire each other as they participate in activities of their choice. Often teens who are responsible for younger siblings bring them too. Teens and older children learn to look out for, work with, and enjoy little ones, who in turn hold the older children to a higher standard required of role models.

-- Kid City strives for an emergent curriculum, based on interests and inspirations of our community. Through project-based learning, youth develop collaborative skills, and use them to solve community problems. 

-- Expert adult mentors provide resources and guidance for kids as they gather; however, kids themselves formulate much of the plans and programming, relying on adults as needed for collaboration and support.

Left to right: Jason Vasquez, Carolina Luna, and Cathy Acosta
Photo by: Ed Shuman 


Kid City is a program of First United Methodist Church of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles United Methodist Urban Foundation. The program has received funding from the Weingart Foundation, The California Wellness Foundation, the United Methodist Women of First UMC of Los Angeles, First UMC LA, the Living into the Future Foundation, the Cisneros Foundation, and Urban Ministries of the California-Pacific United Methodist Church.