March 2, 2018

Underserved school in South LA gets a new library space

LOS ANGELES — Kaiser Permanente is pleased to announce the unveiling of a new Upper Elementary Library at Barrett Elementary School in South Los Angeles.

With a team of community members and school volunteers, Kaiser Permanente staff transformed an unused classroom at the elementary school into an engaging space for third- through fifth-grade students. Barrett Elementary School Principal Jera Turner hopes the library will cultivate a love of reading and spark students’ curiosity about the world around them.

The unveiling event will take place at the school on Friday, March 9, featuring remarks by Wanda Austin, former chief executive officer of Aerospace Corp., a leading architect for the nation’s space program. Austin is one of the "Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics" heroes honored on one of the walls of the library. The event will also include student presentations and a tour of the newly renovated space.

Murals grace the walls that were designed by Helene Cobb, artist and retired Los Angeles Unified School District teacher, whose work can be seen at several schools in the area. They represent California’s unique range of ecosystems, as well as outerspace, bringing nature indoors in a 360-degree experience. Teams turned desks into works of art, creating colorful energizing work surfaces. Additionally, drought-resistant native California plants were placed in the kindergarten play area to attract wildlife and nurture an appreciation of nature.

The Upper Elementary Library was made possible by a donation of more than 4,000 books by Kaiser Permanente’s Educational Theatre. In collaboration with LAUSD, Jordan-Locke network of schools, Educational Theatre has committed to present all three of their elementary health education programs at each of the 16 Jordan-Locke schools over the next three years, with follow-up support provided by Watts Counseling and Learning Center.

“We are happy to have been invited to transform this space into a special place that encourages a love of reading and learning.” said Gerry Farrell, director, Southern California Educational Theatre for Kaiser Permanente. “We hope it will continue to inspire students at this school for many generations to come.”

For information about the event, contact Jennifer Lounibos, manager of booking and communications for Kaiser Permanente Educational Theatre Program, at 213-841-6759.

Event Information:

Barrett Elementary School

419 W. 98 th St., Los Angeles, CA 90003

Upper-Level Library Unveiling

Friday, March 9

10 a.m. to noon

*Please note this event is not open to the public. Media is welcome to attend.

About Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 11.8 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to: