Catalyst For College 
February 2012 Newsletter   

Dear ALearn Friends and Partners,


ALearn has gotten off to a wonderful start in 2012!  We have moved into new offices in Santa Clara (close to 280 and Saratoga Ave.), have welcomed  a talented and energetic new Board member, Allyn Taylor,  and brought onboard a great new office and development manager, Karin Dutra. We are focused on building a sustainable organization in 2012 so that we can serve under-represented students for many years to come, and these new additions are our first steps.


Our programs are growing well.  In January-April 2012, we are piloting a new MAP Plus program for 7th graders which uses the Khan Academy computer program and hands-on math activities to engage students in the excitement of math.  Our program staff is also hard at work preparing for our upcoming summer programs.


We thank our renewing foundation donors: The Silicon Valley Community Foundation, The BelleJAR Foundation, and The William and Charlene Glikbarg Foundation. We are excited to have some first grants from the following foundations: The Rotary Club of Los Altos, The Los Altos Town Crier Holiday Fund,  and The Mountain View Kiwanas Foundation.  We are very appreciative of special pilot grans for our new MAP Plus program from Applied Materials and Cisco.  And we are pleased to have returning corporate donors, Rambus Foundation and Wells Fargo Foundation.  On the individual giving front, we are especially grateful for substantial donations from The Chuck M. and Nancy A. Geschke Foundation, from Ed and Pamela Taft, and from Anonymous.  One of our favorite gifts came from Stefi Ganesan, a Cisco executive, who celebrated her birthday party as an ALearn birthday! We truly could not do our work without you, and you bring joy and pride to our students.


Thanks to all of you, for your personal, financial and program support of ALearn.


Warmest Regards,

Kathryn's Signature 

Founder and CEO



Math Acceleration Program (MAP) Update  

ALearn is expanding its Math Acceleration Program to serve 7th graders during the school year!


This winter ALearn is piloting its MAP Plus program to help 7th graders gain proficiency in Pre-Algebra and learn about college. 
Two hundred students in the Alum Rock and Franklin McKinley school districts are getting to school at 7:00 A.M. to use the computer-based Khan Academy math program. Led by middle

school math teachers, the students also play math games and use hands-on activities.  ALearn hired SJSU students Jose Jaime and Alfredo Astorga who went through local schools and were Teaching Assistants in our summer program to lead the "college knowledge" sessions. 


Many thanks to Cisco and Applied Materials who are funding the MAP Plus program in the Alum Rock and Franklin-McKinley School districts, who both serve high-need populations.


Comments by MAP Plus teachers: 

-"All kids are LOVING Khan Academy and flying through their goals." -"The students are not only learning math, but are doing better in all their subjects."


Congratulations to these teachers who are helping our middle school students get on the path to college!
ALearn is Hiring!  


ALearn is looking for energetic college students who are considering teaching as a career and are committed to making a difference in young people's lives to help them get to college. The teaching assistant positions are paid internships in the summer of 2012.  


Click on the following link to see the detailed job description and online application.  


 Summer Jobs

Zoomz Update

There are lots of exciting things going on Zoomz, ALearn's social networking site for first generation students!

The Zoomz team been invited to participate in several outreach events that will allow more parents and students to benefit from the great resources and support Zoomz offers for students in their path to college. 


Here is a list of the events where  Zoomz will be featured:


- February 11: Advancing Latino Achievement Success Conference

- March 3: Northern California MESA Day

- March 3: Breaking Barriers: Education for the Future Conference

- March 16: Cisco's College Career Fair

- April 5: Oak Grove School District's STAR Program Speaker Series

- April 7: MESA Day San Jose


Recently the editors at Ning, the online platform that allows people and organizations to create custom social networks published a series called Greater Than You: Reforming Education in which it featured social networks that are positively affecting education and learning through social media. Among hundreds of social networks that focus on education, the Ning staff selected Zoomz to be featured as a site which offers first-generation students "an avenue to find the academic support they need and encourage students to become the first in their family to attend college."


The Zoomz team is honored that the social network was showcased for its efforts to support more first generation students get to and succeed in college.  To read the complete article, click here.   



Donor Update

ALearn is grateful to the following organizations for their financial support of our Math Acceleration (MAP) and Catalyst to High School programs in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties.  Our donors are essential to the continued success of our programs and key to our goal of closing the educational and achievement gaps in our community.


The  Rotary Club of Los Altos  Endowment Fund

The mission of the   Rotary Club of Los Altos is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise and, in particular, to encourage and foster the development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service.   Their motto is "service over self." The Rotary Club of Los Altos Endowment Fund provides grants to non-profit organizations located in their community.



Los Altos Town Crier Holiday Fund

The Town Crier Holiday Fund was launched in 2000 to raise funds for small hands-on non-profits in Silicon Valley, particularly those serving families and children. Most of the organizations selected use many volunteers, and maintain a high level of efficiency in percentage of funds which actually touch the lives of the needy. Each year the campaign is launched with significant up-front grants from foundations and individuals which in turn has been more than matched each year by community donors.


Mountain View Kiwanis Foundation

The Kiwanis Club of Mountain View Foundation provides grants that meet a critical health or human care need in the city of Mountain View. Kiwanis was founded in 1915 and has grown to an international organization with over 298,000 members, in over 8,360 clubs in 79 countries.   The Kiwanis Club of Mountain View was formed in 1926 to further the aims of Kiwanis by developing sponsored youth clubs, Key Clubs (high school students), and Builder's Clubs (elementary and middle school students)  and to pass on the value of community service by example.

In This Issue
Math Acceleration Program Update
ALearn is Hiring!
Zoomz Update
Donor Update
Catalyst Update
Staff Update
Board Update

Catalyst to High School Program Update


ALearn's Catalyst  Program is entering its fifth year, and  we will be serving incoming freshmen in three districts: Eastside Union High School District in San Jose,Mountain View Los Altos High School District and Sequoia Union High School District.  


This bridge-to-high school program gives entering ninth graders the opportunity to complete Algebra I during the six week summer program, and most students go right into geometry as freshmen, a year ahead of where they would have been placed!  In addition, the high school freshmen get prepared for the more challenging college prep academic work and enjoy a college readiness curriculum that helps them plan their roadmap to college.


In 2012 ALearn will develop a more comprehensive assessment and tracking system for Catalyst which will allow us to follow the students all the way to college eligibility (A-G requirements). A special thanks to the William and Charlene Glickbarg Foundation for making this assessment system possible.


Staff Update



ALearn is happy to welcome a new member of our team, Karin Dutra, as our new Office Manager.


Karin joins ALearn after spending the last ten years working in the public and private schools. Karin raised both her children in the public school system and was involved in the PTA and the School Site Council. Karin has also worked at Hewlett Packard for 10 years and is currently working on her Masters in Theology from Fuller Seminary, Menlo Park. 


Karin's experience has helped her see the gap in achievement and opportunity for many students, and she is excited to be part of a team that is working to shift the balance 

by supporting and encouraging students to pursue their dreams with a college education. 


Welcome Katin!

Board Update



ALearn is delighted to welcome the newest member of our board, Allyn Taylor, Vice President on the Stanford Campus Residential Leaseholders Board of Directors. Allyn spent over 25 years with the global law firm DLA Piper US LLP (and its predecessor firms) specializing in the field of trademark and copyright law.   She represented companies ranging  from  start-ups to large multinational corporations, aiding them in their global brand selection, registration, management, promotion and enforcement. 


Allyn serves as a member and Vice President on the Stanford Campus Residential Leaseholders Board of Directors,   as well as on its Executive Committee and Capital committee.  She spends one to two days per week tutoring middle aged school children at the Boys and Girls Club located in East Palo Alto.  She is also an active angel investor in Golden Seeds, a group which seeks out and funds women-owned and/or operated start-ups.   Allyn graduated from Stanford University with a B.A (Honors) in Economics and from Columbia Law School, where she was a Sloan Scholar.


ALearn is very fortunate to have Allyn on our board and we are looking forward to the contribution which she will surely make to our continued success.

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