History- The Center for LifeLong Learners has a rich and vibrant past in the Central Los Angeles community. The organization was founded by Helen Ramey, a community resident who began tutoring neighborhood children in the basement of her church when she discovered that they could not read or write. Response to her tutoring was so overwhelming that Ramey decided to open an entire agency dedicated to providing educational support for children.Ramey formally established the Remedial Reading and Learning Center in 1975 at the corner of Washington Blvd. and Western Ave. in the city's Arlington Heights neighborhood, the same site where the Center for LifeLong Learners operates today. When the center initially opened, it offered one program: after school reading assistance.
Ramey's approach was revolutionary. She firmly believed in the value of a volunteer workforce and recruited volunteers from the community, including parents, business owners, and teachers, to come to the center and tutor children in hteir free time. Funding was limited and Ramey refused to accept pay for her services. The RRLC dedicated as much money as it could to it's primary goal: education. Unlike similar programs, she strongly encouraged parents to get involved in their children's academic aspirations.The center also offered youth a hot meal every evening and stayed open until 7pm so that working parents could have a place to send their children after school. In 2001, Helen Ramey retired as director of RRLC at the age of 80. Toni Laudermilk, who had volunteered with the center for 30 years and sat on the agency's board of directors, assumed the position of executive director in 2002. Laudermilk's vision for the RRLC involved great change not only in the programs that the center offered, but also in its mission to educate. From the time that the center opened, the neighborhood had endured tremendous demographic and social change. The center, which primarily served African American youths in the 1970's and 1980's, now served mostly Hispanic children. Laudermilk noticed that many of the center's Spanish-speaking parents needed assistance in English-language education. Additionally, children were in need of technology training, and schools in the area had more resources to provide computers and other tutoring services.Toni also realized that the center's long history in the community was it's primary strength in combating these new challenges.Many former students were now bringing their own children to RRLC because they felt the center offered something that schools couldn't: an opportunity for children, families, and communities to grow together. The center's new mission would be intergenerational education. She adopted a progressive strategy to address the needs of the community by recruiting profession educators, corporate sponsors, and volunteers from surrounding colleges and universities to help realize these goals.With a new vision for the future, the Remedial Reading and learning center gave way to the center for LifeLong Learners in 2005. The center offers patrons a diverse range of programs as well as a renovated facility prepared to handle learners of all ages and backgrounds. Thirty-six years after Helen Ramey sought to make change with a few children in her community, the center continues to stand as a testament to the value of education.
Mon - Fri, 3:00pm to 7:00pm. 2239 W. Washington Blvd. •Los Angeles, CA 90018 •phone: 323-732-1338 •fax: 323-732-1350
About Us - The Center For LifeLong Learners provides individuals of all ages the learning tools to achieve their highest potential at school, in the workplace, at home, and as proactive community members. We use an innovative and non-traditional family learning model in one-on-one and small-group classes. Our center is dedicated to creating an environment where individuals and families can come together and discover the joy of learning. Home Page - Discover the many helpful programs and services we offer. Our History - Learn more about the rich history of The Center for LifeLong Learners... Donate To Us - Lend us a helping hand by making a donation to our non-profit organization... Contact Us - Contact us via email. Visit this page if you are interested in volunteering at the Center as we are always in need of volunteer help!