CASA grew out of a nearly twenty-five year old grass-roots project called La Clase Mágica (LCM). LCM began under the supervision of Dr. Olga A. Vásquez, an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of California, San Diego.
In the fall of 1989, with the help and hard work of many community members, La Clase Mágica, “The Magical Class,” launched in a small community of Solana Beach. The program offered multilingual/multicultural educational assistance to the low income families in the neighborhood as well as technology based activities guided by college age mentors.
In 2000, after eleven years of community involvement, and the subsequent growth of LCM and the inception of its age-appropriate activities: Mi Clase Mágica for pre-school children, Wizard Assistant Club for teenagers, and La Gran Dimensión for adult learners, the project began an effort to gain sustainability. This effort gave birth to the Center for Academic & Social Advancement / Centro de Avance Social y Acádemico (CASA).
In time, the development of the board, the increase in funds, and the evolution of LCM, a new identity emerged in our goals. In 2010 CASA reorganized its mission to undertake full responsibility for sustaining the LCM program, and began the process of separating LCM from a small narrow focused research project to becoming a full fledged college and youth enrichment program.
CASA currently supports the perpetuation of La Clase Mágica Program and its five locations across San Diego county. The board of directors is committed to making new connections within San Diego colleges, finding ways to improve and expand the LCM programming, and partnering with community members for added support.
Dr. Vasquez remains an integral part of CASA; as the founder she is a member emeritus on the board, and interim Executive Director, bringing her insight and research to the improvement of the program. Her research team at the University of California, San Diego still partner with CASA to recruit and train UCSD students to work within LCM and collect important data about all of its participants
To learn more about La Clase Mágica, Mi Clase Mágica, and TACKLE visit our website at www.laclasemagica.com