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HOLA’s mission to support each student in their journey to and through college is anchored by its dynamic academic programs beginning with the SmartStart Elementary Education Program, which helps to ensure each student has the opportunity to receive exceptional academic instruction and enrichment opportunities. Throughout the year, 65 elementary students receive academic instruction and focused homework help from credentialed teachers and volunteer tutors, providing each student with the individualized attention they need to complete their assignments, as well as enrichment opportunities that expand their horizons far beyond the classroom.

SmartStart offers a creative environment in which learning is fun and where students begin to see learning as an inherently rewarding, lifelong process. SmartStart is deeply committed to supporting the development of young children as caring, world citizens, as well as scholars. SmartStart’s staff believes that children work harder, achieve more and treat each other with a higher level of dignity when their efforts are visibly and consistently encouraged and valued. SmartStart provides meaningful lessons that address Common Core Standards and a nurturing community designed to promote the best in our students.

All year long, HOLA’s SmartStart staff provides students with a wide variety of learning clubs, such as art, healthy cooking, and music, helping them to explore the world inside and out of the classroom. Throughout the year, SmartStart engages students in dynamic academic and enrichment offerings. Many of these classes intentionally align with Common Core Standards and utilize the methods of critical analysis that will appear on students’ SBAC and other standardized tests. This dynamic academic and enrichment support is punctuated by field trips throughout Los Angeles and curricula with community organizations such as the California Science Center, which partners with HOLA each spring to provide hands-on and collaborative STEM education both on HOLA’s campus and at the Science Center’s facilities.

SmartStart’s after-school programming is supplemented with daytime summer camps five days per week for six weeks during the summer, during which students participate in daytime programming that includes continued academic support, individual tutoring, enrichment activities, workshops and field trips that focus on experiential learning.

In addition, SmartStart staff further support students and families by attending parent/teacher conferences and Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings, collaborating with school personnel and parents to create educational plans for those students needing additional support. Based on these meetings, HOLA staff intentionally enrolls each student in classes that best support the subject areas in which they need specific assistance.


Summer | We accept online applications during the month of May each year.
Academic Year (August - June) | We accept applications during the month of July.

Program Goals:

  • Improved academic performance

  • Increased confidence in self-expression

  • Ability to work well on a team



+ How do I apply?

Please check enrollment dates. Applications can be filled online or in person at HOLA. There are two enrollment periods. There is one for summer programming and another for the full academic school year. Applications do not coincide and are independent of one another?

+ Do I need to live near HOLA?

No, but please take into consideration distance and time from school or home to HOLA, as it’s important to be on time.

+ What grades does SmartStart serve?

We serve 1st-5th grade for the academic school year and incoming 2nd-5th grade for summer session.

+ My child’s school does not get out till after 3pm. What’s the latest he/she can arrive to HOLA?

The earliest your child can arrive to HOLA is 2:30pm. Homework support begins at 3:30pm-4:45pm. We understand some schools are further than others and dismissal varies. We suggest you taking this into consideration when applying. Average time of arrival to HOLA is 3:00pm-4:00pm for SmartStart students. An arrival time of 4:15pm or later is not advised.

+ I have another child in SmartStart or another HOLA program? Is my child automatically accepted?

When applying, like a school, we take into consideration if a student has a sibling enrolled. However, there are no guarantees.

+ How do you accept students?

We have many factors to consider, such as: boy to girl ratio per grade, balance of academic performance amongst students, parent and student commitment, etc.

+ When I apply is there any documents you need?

We ask that you turn in your child’s most recent report card and most recent CELDT and/or CAASPP Student Reports.

+ Do you provide a snack or late lunch?

HOLA has a healthy snack shack where students are allowed to purchase snacks. Students are allowed to bring their own snacks as well. We have a strict NO junk food policy. On Thursdays, we offer a free sandwich table.

If you cannot find an answer to a questions, please contact us.




SmartStart Program Director

P: 213-389-1148 x 231