Like us on Facebook
  Follow us on Twitter  View our profile on LinkedIn  View on Instagram  Find us on Pinterest  View our videos on YouTube 
    ALearn News

April 2015    

MAP+ Students Design their Dream Houses...

 our annual dinner: OCTOBER 7

In This Issue

Dear ALearn Friends:


ALearn leaped into January 2015 with our MAP+ after-school program in the Alum Rock School District. The highly interactive and engaging math program is now in full swing, with over 250 students becoming dreamers and architects, learning to put their math to practical use. (See our top story.)


ALearn is proud to welcome

two new Board members


Doug Spreng, Retired Chair and CEO, Ubicom; and Kelley Steven Waiss, Senior VP of Human Resources, Extreme Networks.  We are very excited about the energy and enthusiasm they bring to the Board, along with their substantial expertise in building successful organizations as well as fundraising.


ALearn embraces April and its renewing showers, as we prepare for the 8th year of summer programs. Having now served almost 7,000 students in 15 districts, we are growing substantially in the East Side Union High School District so as to increase the continuity of service to students, following them from middle school through high school. We will have around 50 classrooms this summer, and are busily hiring teachers and teaching assistants for their summer jobs.


We are so very grateful to our many donors, who give so generously to support our students. Do have a look at our article at right for a partial list. We wish we could mention them all!


And finally, it is with deep sadness that we mourn the passing of a key donor and advisor, Bob Grimm, who has helped ALearn grow over the years-as he helped many other non-profits-with his generous sharing of wisdom and counsel as a mentor to me, and his support of our students.


Warmest Regards,


Kathryn Hanson


NEW this issue: ALearn's Wish List
ALearn mascot, Juno, asking nicely
Do you know a graphic artist willing to donate some time? How about a branding expert? Or a print shop? A venue for our teacher training? All of these items are luxuries for a nonprofit, and we'd love your help in finding pro-bono (or low-cost) providers.  
P.S. We also need a new couch.
...and build scale models out of cardboard  
Our MAP+ after-school program is in full-swing in 5 Alum Rock schools in San Jose, with the 6th and 7th grade students working on the "Dream House Challenge." Teams of four work together to design and build a house, following certain requirements (e.g. 10% of the area must be an outdoor living space). Each student plays a different role on the team: Master Builder, Architect, Construction Manager, or Building Inspector. The house will be judged on completeness of blueprint, how closely the model matches the blueprint, performance of assigned roles, and math calculations completed. The winning class will receive a pizza party. This hands-on project combines math, Common Core strategies, and growth mindset practice in perseverance.  And the kids love it!  As one teacher said: "Students find a relaxed atmosphere to really discover their strengths in math."
Julie Cates named Super Bowl 50 "Playmaker"
ALearn receives one of fifty Playmaker Grants

We are very pleased to announce that our co-founder, Julie Cates, has been named a  Super Bowl 50 "Playmaker," and ALearn has received a $10,000 Playmaker Grant from the 50 Fund, the philanthropic arm of the 2016 Super Bowl Host Committee.  In the 50 weeks leading up to the February 7 Super Bowl 50, the 50 Fund is giving 50 Playmaker Grants to Bay Area nonprofits, in recognition of their "Herculean efforts" in closing the opportunity gap for low-income youth.
50 Fund Playmaker: Julie Cates and ALearn
Co-founder, Julie Cates, flanked by ALearn Program Manager, 
Denise Mohsenin (left) and Development Manager, Eileen Tsai (right)
Los Altan of the Year, Kathryn Hanson

Our CEO joined a stellar group of honorees in becoming the 2014 Los Altan of the Year. She was honored at a dinner hosted by the Los Altos Town Crier on January 16.  Her husband, Kirk Hanson, served as emcee, introducing several of Kathryn's colleagues, friends, and family members, all of whom praised Kathryn's dedication to serving others.
Welcome Thao Tran, our new Office Manager!

Thao graduated from San Jose State University in 2014, with a B.A. in Sociology and a minor in Health Science.  Her last role was managing the office of a medical practice. She enjoys volunteering at the VA in Palo Alto in the Polytrauma Department, working on research in Traumatic Brain Injuries.  We are thrilled to have her on board!
Many, many thanks to our most recent donors

Thank you, ALearn return donors, for your renewed generosity: Applied Materials, BelleJAR  Foundation, Broadcom Foundation, First Tech Credit Union, Galloway Family Foundation,  Geschke Family Foundation, Glikbarg Family Foundation, Lantern League, Leslie Family Foundation, Los Altos Rotary, Los Altos Town Crier Holiday Fund, Reddere Foundation, Eric & Wendy Schmidt Foundation, Seagate, Sobrato Philanthropies, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, and Warmenhoven Family Foundation.


Merci beaucoup to new corporate donors: The Bay Club, Barracuda Networks, Hitachi Data Systems, Super Bowl 50 and Western Digital Foundation.  Thanks also for our many new and returning individual donors, especially Janet & Allen Podell.


Muchas gracias for our in-kind gifts from our expert legal, accounting, strategy and HR consultants: Deloitte, DLA Piper, Kaye Scholer, Kelly Money Management, Phil Palmer, and Tony Lautmann. It is only with your generous expertise and financial support that we can do our work, so please accept our deepest gratitude.