Catalyst to College Newsletter 
March 2014

ALearn Grads 

Thriving in College


Paola Cervantes and Glenda Vargas are two very motivated and successful graduates of Los Altos High School who jointly attended the ALearn Catalyst class together four years ago and are now in college.  Paolo attends Cal State Northridge and Glenda is at Chapman University.


"No one pushed me to attend the class. I'm very self-motivated and plan to be the first generation in my family to go to college" said Paola. Glenda added "I wanted to get a flavor of what high school would be like and to become familiar with the materials."  


The two girls felt the ALearn class prepared them for high school, both from an academic as well as from a social perspective.


Paola and Glenda were both very active during their high school years with tutoring and student government.  Their dedication is paying off in college, too: Glenda earned a 4.0 in her first semester at Chapman, and Paola has been nominated at CSUN for an Undergraduate Student Training in Academic Research award by the Minority Access to Research Careers program. Glenda will be joining ALearn this summer as a Teaching Assistant.


Both Paola and Glenda have been active promoters of ALearn and we thank them for all their support.  


MAP+ Reinforces (A)Learning!

ALearn TA, Elizabeth Bolin helps a MAP+ student develop the math expression for
a word problem.

 ALearn's MAP+ is in full swing, serving 284 students in 13 classes of 6th and 7th graders who either took MAP last summer or are below grade level in Math.  Classes are scheduled after school, 3 or 4 days per week for 12 weeks.  The program uses a blended instruction model, employing the Khan Academy online math curriculum plus RAFT hands-on activities, both of which support Common Core State Standards.


New This Year: Partner organizations at each site have presented unique leveraging opportunities.  For example, ALearn was able to utilize Think Together after-school staff at three sites, saving ALearn $7,300.  


Staff is gearing up for summer  serving a total of 13 districts with MAP and CATALYST programs as of press time.
MAP+ 2014
Jose, a MAP+ student, hard at work on Khan Academy exercises on an iPad.
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In This Issue
ALearn Grads Thrive in College!
2013 Summer Programs
Development Update
Dear ALearn Friends and Supporters:
 Spring has sprung early this year, and the life in Silicon Valley is moving even faster. ALearn is doing well, and growing both its after-school MAP+ program and its summer MAP and Catalyst programs.

Like others on the education front, we are facing two huge new macro changes: the implementation of the Common Core way of teaching and learning; and the move to Local Control Funding away from a state-centered funding model. While both of these changes will be good in the long run, they are creating chaos and havoc in many school districts with whom we partner.


However, ALearn is well positioned. We are lucky to have been using a Common Core curriculum in our middle school summer programs for the last 5 years, so our teachers and students are used to showing their work, explaining their answers, showing multiple ways to solve problems, talking about math with critical and analytic skills. In the words of one of our teachers, "We are used to teaching in the ways of Common Core, and those who have taught in the ALearn summer program are becoming teacher leaders helping other teachers move into the Common Core".  As for Local Control Funding, the money will flow back into the districts with low income, disadvantaged students-but over the 3-5 year time period, not necessarily immediately. So ALearn will be working with our partner districts to accommodate the new movements-and to embrace the changes.


Meanwhile, our team is getting ever stronger and more resilient.  We are putting in place many of the structures and policies to enable significant growth-in the areas of programs, finance, IT, and fundraising. Thanks to all of you, our supporters and donors who make it all possible!


Warmest Regards,



Kathryn's Signature



October 15th, 2014
Computer History Museum
2014 Dream Makers Honoree
Lisa Sobrato Sonsini
Sobrato Family Foundation 
We are proud to honor 
Lisa Sobrato Sonsini and the Sobrato Family Foundation, for their work towards the advancement of education in Silicon Valley.  Recognition will also be given to ALearn's outstanding Teachers, Teaching Assistants and MAP and CATALYST Students for 2014.

CEO Kathryn Hanson and Board Member Julie Cates with ALearn 2013 Achievement 

Award Winners

Development Update
All-In -- for ALearn


It was a full house at Dogpatch Wineworks on March 15, for the 2nd Annual Black & Red Charity Poker Ball, a benefit event for ALearn, hosted by Leading Women in Technology, an organization dedicated to connecting professionals in tech.  ALearn was selected, as the honoree, out of three semi-finalists chosen by Hipower, a select leadership team within Leading Women in Technology.


Over 100 people were on hand to play poker, and support our cause of helping under-served children reach their academic and college goals.


The evening's proceeds, totaling over $22,000 will be going towards ALearn's pilot of all-girls classes in metro-San Jose.  Thank you Leading Women in Techology and the Hipower team!


ALearn attending the 
May 3, 2014


Classy Awards, in partnership with the United Nations Foundation, as the largest social impact awards ceremony in the U.S., has recognized ALearn as a top semi-finalist in the education category.  We'll be on hand at the 5th annual awards evening in San Diego on May 3.  Thank you, Classy, for recognizing the leaders of social progress!
ALearn would like to thank its most recent donors for their generosity:
      Reddere Foundation            TOSA Foundation
LS & RT Huang Foundation  
Pamela and Ed Taft

3777 Stevens Creek Boulevard Suite 330 
Santa Clara, California 95051