University of Southern California


Working with our neighbors to build a strong community

Early Education

Early Roads to Success

Photo of child raising his hand in classIt’s been said that a community can be measured by how it treats its most vulnerable members. In the vibrant communities surrounding USC, the health, safety, and education of our children come first. Here, an array of university- and government-funded programs help set neighborhood kids on the right path, even before they can walk down it.

The University of Southern California School for Early Childhood Education (SECE) provides education and communal support to the children and families of Los Angeles. Since its inception in 1970, the program has operated numerous Head Start State Preschool childcare and development centers for children ages three to five, as well as home-based Early Head Start programs for infants. Understanding the holistic needs of children, USC offers services that reach beyond education to include parenting classes, social services, health and nutrition support, and mental-health counseling.

The university also welcomes the opportunity to initiate new programs such as “Kinder 2 College,” a pilot project that aims to pair boys in first through third grade with mentors who help to develop their reading skills.

At USC, we realize that an investment in children is an investment in the future of our community. From prenatal care to literacy tutoring, these early childhood programs put children on a solid path toward health, happiness, and success.

In the News


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USC shines light on literacy programs for local youth at book festival

Clifford the Big Red Dog and USC Greek student life representatives delivered books to Elizabeth Dominguez’s kindergarten class at Vermont Elementary School in Los Angeles on Monday.

Dominguez, recipient of the “Read On” Teacher Salute at the opening ceremony of this year’s Los Angeles Times Festival of Books on the USC University Park Campus, was acknowledged for her dedication and creativity to children’s literacy programs in her classroom.

The USC Greek Councils donated books from the Read On Wish List, which were distributed to classrooms within the USC Family of Schools. USC students Lauren Helmbrecht from the Panhellenic Council and Alex Cuoci from the Interfraternity Council delivered books and read during “circle time.”

Vermont Elementary is part of the USC Family of Schools, 15 schools surrounding the University Park and Health Sciences campuses. The Family of Schools program focuses on providing a quality education to the 17,000 children in the local neighborhoods; more than 4,500 USC students, faculty and staff work with thousands of parents, teachers, school administrators, neighbors, police officers and other community representatives.