Hands Across Watts Initiative

Providing resources and education for children in Watts, CA to continue their education despite LAUSD closure


On Monday, September 14, GO Campaign and Beachbody Foundation excitedly launch the Hand Across Watts Initiative; a partnership with Avalon Carver Community Center, Clean Slate, Watts Community Core, and Charles Drew University to transform both Avalon Carver Community Center and the Nickerson Gardens Recreation Center into “safe zones” where students can continue their education and abide by COVID-19 safety precautions.

Many children living in the Watts neighborhood, will be left without access to technology, the internet, tutoring support, and extracurricular activities with the closure of LAUSD for the remainder of 2020.

To help bring these children the access to education they deserve, GO Campaign and Beachbody Foundation are bringing together multiple Local Heroes and community organizations to launch this new initiative in order to ensure students do not fall behind in school. “It’s a blessing that GO Campaign and Beachbody Foundation stepped up to lessen this gap in resources,” said Ivory Chambeshi of the L.A. Mayor’s Office of Economic Opportunity.

The program is aimed at children grades K-12 as well as young adults age 16-25 who would like to obtain their high school diplomas. Students will have access to digital learning platforms, receive academic remediation, participate in STEM programs, receive mental health services, and access online workout sessions. Older students will also be able to access vocational training courses.

“When you’re able to have a program like this come into the community, it can help keep [children] away from all of the elements that don’t make it right for them. We’re trying to teach our kids how to be responsible and do right. We knew if we could do this in [our] community, it [will] make a big difference” said Donny Joubert, Co-Founder of Watts Community Core.

The Local Heroes diligently working behind the scenes on this Hands Across Watts initiative are Jamico Elder, Executive Director of Avalon Carver Community Center, Marianne Diaz, Founder of Clean Slate, and Kevin Hunt and Tanya Dorsey, co-founders of Watts Community Core.

“Beachbody Foundation is the first to stand with our children in this initiative. COVID brought our work to a screeching halt, threatening to steal our children’s futures and prevent them from reaching beyond the stars. Together Beachbody Foundation and GO Campaign are filling in the gap for our children, giving them a safe place to learn in this new world” said Jamico Elder, Director of the Avalon Carver Community Center. “I am certain this monumental act will lead to change. Doctors, engineers, and the STEM industry leaders of tomorrow will not only have a safe place to learn, but also a place for their self-esteem to grow, knowing that people outside of the neighborhood care about them, believe in them, and imagine that they are destined for greatness. This is a place to teach our children that they do matter.”