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    ALearn News

June 2015    

ALearn Summer Learning Begins!

Our annual dinner is OCTOBER 7

Honoring 2015 ALearn Dream Makers Award Winners, 
Dan and Charmaine Warmenhoven

In This Issue
Dear ALearn Friends, Supporters, and Partners:


ALearn is off to a grand start for our summer programs, and there is energy and excitement in the air!  We had seven extensive multi-day trainings of professional development for all of our teachers and college teaching assistants (many future teachers) -- 98 in all. All of our programs integrate Common Core Math, Growth Mindset and College Readiness curriculum.


We are excited about our expansion of classes at 3 new East Side Union High School sites: Independence, Andrew Hill and James Lick. 


I recently attended our College Inspiration Night at Yerba Buena High. It was a huge success! Roughly 200 people attended, including about 80 students and 120 parents and family members, along with the ALearn staff and our teachers and TAs.  It was an evening of spirit and dedication, of information sharing and moving stories of how lives can and are being changed.  The evening gave students and parents alike the opportunity to learn about:

  • A-G requirements and why college eligibility matters
  • the college experience, which can open a world of opportunity and change their life
  • ways for parents to support students on the college track
  • making the most out of high school
  • resources for low-income, first generation students, and how to take advantage of them
  • the college experience --from the teaching assistants who are in college now
  • And much, much more....

It takes a village, and we had the whole village out in force, including the Vietnamese- and Spanish-speaking parent liaisons! The energy in the room was palpable, with the parents leaning forward to learn about how they can help their student get on the college path. The school counselor gave the presentation about college requirements and then will follow up with the students and families to make sure each student has a 4-year A-G plan by the end of the summer. The personal stories of Estefani, Luis and Russell (our TAs) were simply outstanding and inspiring for all. See the photos of the packed house below.



Special kudos to our Programs Team and other ALearn and site staff who pull off this logistical feat of serving 20 sites and nearly 1,300 students. And none of this can happen without you-our supporters, friends and partners.  THANK YOU SO MUCH for all of the help and support you provide.


Warmest Regards,


Kathryn Hanson


Smart Summer  
Avoiding the "Summer Slide"

Did you know that about two-thirds of the ninth-grade academic achievement gap between disadvantaged youngsters and their more advantaged peers can be explained by what happens over the summer?* Thanks to ALearn's innovative and engaging programs,
nearly 1,300 middle and high school students will avoid the "summer slide" this year.

Middle and High School Programs
Twenty-three classes, totaling 658 6th and 7th graders, have launched in 10 schools. Students are learning about everything from fractions to geometry, using the Pearson Navigator curriculum, Khan Academy modules, and hands-on exercises from RAFT (Resource Area For Teachers). A total of 611 incoming 9th graders in our 25 classes are learning algebra, geometry, or Common Core Math.

College Readiness lessons and activities are a cornerstone of all our programs. All students follow an informative and inspiring curriculum. They also visit a local college, such as San Jose State, Stanford, or Santa Clara. 9th grade students also work with a high school counselor to design a 4-year academic plan that will get them on the college track.

Growth Mindset -- the core belief that abilities are malleable and success depends on hard work and perseverance -- underpins all of ALearn's work. Most of our students have not been successful in Math, and our goal is to teach them that they can be. As the research by Stanford professor Carol Dweck shows, if students believe that their intelligence is something that they can develop and increase, they are more likely to be successful.

Our students learn that they can be successful at school, discover that college is attainable, and have fun avoiding the summer slide.
*Lasting Consequences of the Summer Learning Gap Karl L. Alexander, Doris R. Entwisle, Linda Steffel Olson, Johns Hopkins University, 2007.
Spring Reception Highlights
Students share their experiences, Marshall Tuck speaks

Deborah Stipek (2nd from left) poses with Mountain View High School students (l to r) Giulia Martins, Luis Sanchez, and Ysela Baluyot
Stanford Dean and ALearn Board Member, Deborah Stipek,
hosted donors and other public education advocates June 3 for
ALearn's annual Spring Reception. ALearn students from Mountain View High School, Giulia Martins, Luis Sanchez, and Ysela Baluyot reflected on their transformational summer with ALearn, which started them on a trajectory of academic success and self confidence.

Guest speaker of the evening,
Marshall Tuck, 2014 candidate for CA Superintendent of Public Instruction
Marshall Tuck, spoke eloquently on "Closing the Opportunity Gap" and urged the crowd to get engaged with our local schools and to get familiar with our school boards and local politicians who can effect change. 

Mr. Tuck served as CEO of Partnership for Los Angeles Schools from 2007 to 2013.
MAP+ Classes Rocked!

126 6th or 7th graders from 5 Alum Rock middle schools attended our MAP+ (Math Acceleration Program +) this spring. Students perfected their Math skills with Khan Academy, and learned about college. Two proud students pose here with their Certificates of Completion. Bravo!
Silicon Valley ALearn

With generous matching grants from C. S. & Jin Park and Jenny & Duston Williams, ALearn donors gave almost $30,000 on May 5 to help low-income youth in Silicon Valley. This 24-hour online giving day has been a boon to ALearn and many Silicon Valley nonprofits. Thank you to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation and other sponsors for spearheading a day of community-wide philanthropy.
Welcome Christine Khoo, our new Program Manager!

Christine brings several years of experience in educational program coordination, advising, and mentoring. With a passion for educational access and equity, she went on to work as a counselor to homeless teens in a transitional living program, with a large portion of her work focusing on school progress, retention, and college access. Her most recent role was as a director of a tutoring and test prep center, where she built academic and admissions support plans for K-12 students and their families.

Christine has a B.A. in Art Studio from UC Davis, with an education minor. 
Many, many thanks to our most recent donors

We so appreciate all our donors, who make our work possible. Our most recent returning donors are:



Deloitte LLP

Diane and Robert Frankle

Glikbarg Foundation

Julie Cates and Fred Ware

Kim and Jim Funk

Markkula Foundation


Phil Palmer

Safeway Foundation


Thank you, too, to our newest corporate donor, NetApp.

ALearn's Wish List
Juno, our mascot, asking nicely
Many thanks to our reader who suggested venues for our teacher training. Here is this month's list:
  • Graphic design services
  • Brand marketing services
  • Printing services
  • Staples gift cards for classroom supplies
  • General gift cards for student and teacher rewards