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  "Catalyst for College"    
July 2010


We're on a rocket ship of energy and excitement this summer, with enormous growth and yet lots of continuity to our summer programs. Our middle school math program, for example, has grown from 2 to 9 districts and 200 students to 1,000 students (in partnership).  Julie Cates, our Director of Programs is in her third year of careful, effective management of the Math Acceleration Program (MAP) in Oak Grove and Sunnyvale, many of the teachers and college TAs have returned; our Lead College Coordinator, Carlos Jimenez, has returned to lead the team as it expands.  See below for their stories!

As usual, it is only possible with the help of great donors, staff and partnerships. We count our blessings in this year when most summer programs have been cut while we are expanding dramatically.

Warmest Regards,
Kathryn S. Hanson
CEO & Founder

Program Updates

Math Acceleration Program (MAP)
Julie Cates, ALearn's Director of Programs, has led our math summer programs for three years now, and it shows!  Each year it only gets better.  After 25 years in the computer industry, Julie could be putting her feet up, but instead she has contributed so much to our ALearn Programs: she led the team in a new curriculum selection (America's Choice Navigator), has successfully recruited 42 college Teaching Assistants from 10 colleges, has worked closely with America's Choice on the Professional Development program, and in general "keeps the trains running on time." Her leadership is most appreciated.


Carlos Jimenez, our Lead College Coordinator, is back for his second year.  Carlos works with the College TAs out of the classroom, organizing College Inspiration Nights for the parents and students, preparing for and guiding college tours at Santa Clara University, and presiding as the emcee of our Final Celebrations in multiple districts.  Carlos is a graduate of Santa Clara University and works as a teacher and counselor at the Sacred Heart Nativity Schools of San Jose during the school year. His flawless and melodious Spanish and English allows us to present to parents in two languages, making them feel at home at our events.

Jimenez photo

                        Carlos Jimenez 

AVID Bridge

The ALearn AVID Bridge Program at Mountain View Los Altos High School District started early in June and was completed with a festive End Celebration on Friday, July 9.  This year we had 50 entering 9th grade AVID students in the program: 27 took a combination of English and Math, and 23 took the Math Alone strand.

This is the third year of this program, and Michael Moul, Director of the AVID Bridge summer program, was leading our program for the third year as well.  Michael, an English teacher at Los Altos High, is a graduate of Santa Clara University and he took our students on a visit to his alma mater as part of the program.  The students had interactive sessions with a Forensic Science professor and with the Assistant Dean of Admissions, and had large and small group meetings with first-generation college students.

alearn girl with smile

                           Michael Moul

The final celebration included a welcome by Michael Moul,  as well as a short talk by Barry Groves, Superintendent of MVLA  District; David Casas, Mayor of Los Altos and first-generation in his family to college; and Kathryn Hanson of ALearn.There was a panel of current college students speaking about being the first in their families to go to college, as well as an exhibition of student work. Families gathered round their students for dinner together preceding the program.  The energy and pride in their work was evident in the faces of all the students.

In This Issue
Program Updates
Donor Updates
AVID Bridge Program Student Quotes
Board Updates
  alearn girl with smile
  MAP End Celebration
Donor Updates
ALearn has won substantial new grant awards in May and June from Yahoo, Inc., Juniper Networks and Silicon Valley Bank. We also won a large grant from the American Honda Foundation, in partnership  with Santa Clara University, to support MAP and its research on students' attitudes towards math.
Save the Date:      ALearn's  1st College Catalyst Breakfast: Wed, October 27th  7:30 to 9 a.m.
You're invited to ALearn's first annual breakfast to celebrate the progress of our programs. See through the eyes of students how they will be the first members of their families to go to college.  ALearn's Board of Directors and staff invite you to Sharon Heights Golf & Country Club, 2900 Sand Hill Road Menlo Park, CA 94025 on Wednesday, October 27, 2010 from 7:30 to 9:00 am.  Proceeds from the event will go to strengthen our summer programs and help ALearn sustain its ability to help low income, first generation students.  

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AVID Bridge Program Student Quotes:

"What I liked best about this program was that I was able to conquer a subject I had trouble with earlier, so now I can understand the class next year."

"The best thing about the program was that it helped me get ready for high school. it also helped me make me friends, that will be with me in high school."

"The best part of avid bridge was going to Santa Clara University because it made me want to go to college."

"I liked the help I got from the teachers and tutors that helped them, I felt comfortable asking them anything I did not understand. Also, how I was able to have a lot of group work so that way my friends can help me, and at the same time have fun but without getting to out of control."

"I liked the trip to santa clara university and i also liked the math program because it helped me alot."

Board Updates
At our June Board meeting, we elected Diane Frankle, Partner of DLA Piper, as Board Chair.  Frank Pisciuneri was elected Treasurer, and Julie Cates will remain as Secretary of the Board.

ALearn also recently elected Frank Pisciuneri to the ALearn Board. Frank is Managing Director, Corporate Finance at Silicon Valley Bank, where he provides financing and banking services to large public and privately-held technology and life science companies.Prior to joining Silicon Valley Bank, Frank served as Chief Financial Officer and Vice President, Finance at Wyse Technology Inc.   He also served in various senior financial management positions with Citrix Systems, Inc. and Ryder System, Inc.  He began his career with Deloitte & Touche and holds a B.S. in Business Administration from West Virginia University and is a Certified Public Accountant.