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News from ALearn
July 2014
In This Issue:
Math-Strong, College-Ready
Staff Spotlight: Eddie Hernandez
Spring Reception Highlights
Donor Update
Letter from Kathryn Hanson
Dream Makers Dinner: October 15!
Volunteers: Guest Speakers
Volunteers: Annual Work Day
SV Gives Keeps on Giving

ALearn Catalyst featured in the
San Jose Mercury News
July 29, 2014
by Sharon Noguchi




Catalyst student nails yet another  Geometry problem

After an intensive 6 weeks, all of ALearn's 43 classes have just wrapped up!  ALearn partnered with 10 school districts and 16 schools to bring Common Core Math and College Readiness curriculum to underserved students. In total, 21 classes of 550 6th/7th graders, and 22 classes of 513 9th graders prepared students to be math strong, and college ready!
Not only did students study Common Core Math, Algebra, Geometry and Algebra 2, they learned about "Growth Mindset" which encourages success through perseverance and hard work. Students also took fun field trips to Stanford University, Santa Clara U, and San Jose State University.


Yerba Buena student charts her path to college


New and seasoned ALearn Teachers and Teaching Assistants received excellent professional development training from the ALearn Program Team...


Read on...

Staff Spotlight: MAP Coordinator, Eddie Hernandez

Eddie talks with families during College Night at August Boeger Middle School

Over 50% of K-12 students in California are Latino, yet only 16% of teachers are.  MAP Coordinator, Eddie Hernandez, is among that elite group.  After graduating from UC Santa Cruz in Information Systems Management, he went to work at Google, then Cisco - dream jobs for anyone.  But Eddie's dreams kept coming back to teaching.  The son of a custodian and a farm worker, Eddie has 35 family members in education, including teachers and administrators.  Two of his five siblings are administrators.  He got his credential in 2010 and current teaches Math at Sunnyvale Middle School.  He started with ALearn in 2012 as a MAP Teacher, became a Coordinator in 2013, and holds that same position this year.  We are thrilled to have someone with Eddie's passion and experience serving as a role model for our students, over 60% of whom are Latino.

Spring Reception Highlights


ALearn's Spring Reception was held at the Los Altos Hills estate of venture capitalist, Kelly Porter, on May 20.  Distinguished guests were treated to refreshments as well as a panel discussion of "Whatsupp in Public Education?" moderated by ALearn Board Member and Dean of the Stanford Graduate School of Education, Deborah Stipek, and featured Mike Kirst, President of the California State Board of Education, and Chris Funk, Superintendent of the East Side Union High School District in San Jose.  They shared in-depth insights into the new Common Core State Standards, as well as the Local Control Funding Formula implementation.  


Our eminent speakers, Chris Funk, Deborah Stipek, and Mike Kirst


The evening also highlighted four MVLA High District students who attended ALearn last summer and are now thriving in their classes and planning to go to college. The students shared what they learned through ALearn and what they plan to study in college.


Los Altos High students, Abdaly Perez, Daniela De La Cruz, Herla Carrera, and Cheyenne Holloway

Donor Update

Thank you to these most recent donors for their generosity:



Agilent Technologies

Melissa and Clyde Dyrdahl

Carol and John Flaherty

Diane and Robert Frankle

Kathryn and Kirk Hanson

Leslie Family Foundation

Los Altos Community Foundation

Maxim Integrated

Jim McCanna

Phil Palmer

C.S. and Jin Park

Safeway Foundation

SanDisk Corporate Fund


Joe and Randee Seiger

Silicon Valley Association of Realtors

Doug Spreng

US Bancorp Foundation

Duston and Jenny Williams

Westly Foundation

Women in International Trade

Dear ALearn Friends and Supporters:

"Summer learning loss" has turned to summer learning gain! Instead of losing the typical almost 3 months of mathematics learning, our students improved their math, study skills and goal setting this summer. ALearn has just completed its 7th year of summer programs, serving rising 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th graders in 10 school districts. This year, ALearn's strong Program team has exceeded expectations in engaging students and their families in math, a positive and engaging approach to learning, and an even stronger

program of college aspirations and readiness.

ALearn had intensive 4-5-6 week programs serving almost 1,100 students this summer while partnering with the following 10 school districts: Alum Rock, Berryessa, East Side Union HSD, Franklin McKinley, Mt. Pleasant, Milpitas UHSD, Mountain View Los Altos HSD, Oak Grove, Santa Clara Unified, and Sequoia Union HSD. Students accelerate their math trajectory during the summer, often starting the school year placed a full year ahead of where they would have been. But even more important, they learn to discuss and share their work, enhance their critical thinking skills, and learn to love learning.


The most important part of the summer is the most ineffable: the change inside the students' own minds and hearts, the confidence they gain, their growth in perseverance and drive and "growth mindset".  The pride the students gain is only surpassed by their parents' pride in seeing them grow, succeed and, get on the college path---along with a group of new friends who have the same goals.


Thanks to all of our supporters and partners who help us serve these students and transform their opportunities for success. We could not do this without you. Happy summer to all!


Warmest Greetings,

Kathryn S. Hanson


Be Part of a Magical Evening!


October 15th, 2014
Computer History Museum
2014 Dream Makers Honoree:
Lisa Sobrato Sonsini
The Sobrato Family Foundation

Purchase tickets

Volunteers Make a HUGE Difference


Guest Speakers Visit ALearn Classrooms


ALearn students at high schools in Mt. View, Woodside, Oak Grove, Yerba Buena, Mt. Pleasant, were treated to fantastic presentations by 12 guest speakers with inspiring high school-to college-to career success stories.  


Microsoft XBox engineers, Nathan Slattengren and Steve Schmidt, gave students a chance to get a hands-on look at a prototype: 


DPR project manager, Aurora Ildefonso, told students what it's like to be one of the few Latina civil engineers in Silicon Valley, constructing some its most notable high-tech buildings:


Read on...


ALearn Work Day


2000 pencils + 175 calculators + 3000 quizzes + many more materials = 45 ALearn classroom bins assembled by Deloitte and Cisco volunteers on May 31.



Silicon Valley Gives Just Keeps on Giving!


The final numbers are in!  During the May 6 SV Gives campaign, ALearn raised a grand total of $33,073 to help low-income youth in Silicon Valley. This included a generous matching grant from Jenny and Duston Williams, as well as matches from various Silicon Valley organizations.



Emmett Carson, Silicon Valley Community Foundation CEO, gets "that giving feeling"


Thanks to donors like you, more students will get free summer and school-year help to become math-strong and college-ready.


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