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Robots cruise into Crenshaw curriculum



SPECIAL REPORT: After three years as an after-school club activity, robotics has made its way into the regular curriculum at Crenshaw High School. It's being embraced as part of a wider school reform effort, but it's also testament to a handful of teachers who would like to earn the South L.A. school a reputation for engineering.

AUDIO SLIDESHOW: Crenshaw High School students troubleshoot errors with their robot, while faculty try to scrounge up support to keep the new class going.

Growing up fast presents challenges for youth in South L.A.



As the economic crisis pushes parents to work multiple jobs, their children face as many challenges. Taking on adult responsibilities, they care for their younger siblings, deal with academic and peer pressure, and cope with complex changes to their bodies and feelings—often without parental support. Youth like Gabriel Hamilton confront life’s challenges as best they can. AUDIO

Related: Teachers play double role for immigrant and poor students

At Crenshaw, ambitions abound


At times running counter to public perception, Crenshaw students aspire to attend college, own businesses, even play in the NBA. But achieving these dreams is often more challenging for urban youth.


Saving troubled teens, one at a time


Improving the graduation rate at Belmont High School is one goal of an aggressive boot camp for students run by the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles Unified School District. The other: helping teens learn life skills they lack. Early results are promising.

L.A.'s new arts high school offers promise, but problems too


A new downtown Los Angeles high school dedicated to the performing arts faces numerous challenges in the months before its scheduled fall 2009 opening. But this school is different: it will blend academics with the arts in an approach increasingly seen as a way to boost student achievement. But budget issues threaten the school before it even opens. B. Adriana Venegas-Chavez visits with school officials managing the new school.


Greenlight: The Business of South Los Angeles

California lottery sales falter; impact on schools is next


VIDEO: The California Lottery reported sales dropped in 2008 by more than $100 million, or more than 10 percent, the result of the struggling national economy. Other factors—fewer large jackpots—contributed to the decline, but it's all bad news for the state’s public schools, which received $960 million from the lottery in 2007.

A historic inauguration spurs retail business



Leimert Park shop owners see at least one bright spot in the gloomy economy: President-elect Barack Obama. Memorabilia and collectibles depicting the nation's first African-American president are selling at a brisk rate.

USC students’ new lesson: Comparison Shopping 101


Higher food costs are forcing USC students to shop more carefully for groceries to keep their budgets in check. Watt Way's Sara Lerner follows one student to the store and learns where to find the best prices for bread, cheese and other items.