ALearn News
February 2016   

In This Issue

Dear ALearn Friends and Supporters,

ALearn has moved quickly into 2016, with very active discussions with 12 districts about our upcoming 9th summer of programs in math, growth mindset, and college readiness. ALearn's programs for 6th through 10th grades focus on enhancing math proficiency and increasing motivation for our students to go to college through blended learning, field trips, and personal support from college mentors.

On the Program side, we are adding new strength to the team.  We are very pleased to welcome Linda Prieto, PhD, as our new Vice President Programs.  Linda is a proven leader in Latino education who brings broad experience both with the academic rigor of culturally diverse education and a deep understanding of the Latino community from whence she springs. We are also pleased to welcome Kelsey Austin-King as our Middle School Programs Manager. She brings a great passion for serving our students. See their bios at right.

We have just finished our second year of our Girls Exploring Math (GEM) program with success in two districts, Alum Rock and Mountain View Whisman.

As we grow ALearn, we are also adding power to our Board, and welcome four new members:
  • Tom Crotty, Managing Director, Ascent Private Capital Management
  • Juan Cruz, Superintendent of Franklin McKinley School District
  • Jared Darby, Educator, Mountain View Whisman School District and ALearn Teacher of Year
  • Bill Elder, Retired Attorney, Hillman, Childers, Foreman & McCormack
ALearn is also making significant progress on the
Development front.  Donors, here's a great way to triple your donation and impact in 2016: the Sobrato Family Foundation has given ALearn a Challenge Grant to match up to $45,000 of new or increased gifts we raise in 2016. 

The Super Bowl rocked with Uptown Funk, but ALearn has gone one better: see the Mathtown Funk video created and delivered by our students this fall.  

As we expand into 2016, ALearn is creating a learning organization which can spread its success with getting underserved students on the college path in ever-increasing numbers.
Come "ALearn with us!"

Warmest Regards,
Kathryn Hanson
Girls Exploring Math
Math has never been this cool

Thanks to generous grants from Cisco, Lantern League, and the Los Altos Community Foundation, 7th graders in two Silicon Valley school districts are building their skills in ALearn's  "Girls Exploring Math" classes. 

GEM  brings together lessons in pre-algebra leadership, empowerment, and college-readiness. The hands-on math  and science activities are designed to specifically engage girls, including a "Saving for Your Quinceañera," and "Tracking Stocks."  GEM also includes online-math lessons  from Khan Academy.   

A highlight of the program is the Speaker Series. Women in STEM professions -- many of whom are the first in their families to go to college -- share their
expertise and advice. Recently, a Tech Advisor from  GoPro  (at left) visited to share her unexpected path to engineering and show off some cool functionality of the wearable camera. A Google Roboticist  (at right, with a student) a lso visited, and helped students virtually control a remote robot.  

Further hands-on learning included a Field Trip to the Tech Museum to participate in an after-school lab on designing buildings for earthquakes.

A special perk:
GEM students and their teacher pose with their Sharks posters. Cool. huh?

The Sharks Foundation (whose recent grant you can read about at this link) offered unlimited free tickets to our students and their families to attend a San Jose Barracudas  game on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
From Struggling High School Student to 
UCLA Graduate
Teaching Assistant Spotlight

When Russell Green was at Cupertino High, he never dreamed he could get into college. "I struggled mightily in grade school and high school, so I thought college just wasn't for me." Russell overcame
his fears, jumped into classes at DeAnza College, and then transferred to UCLA. He graduated with a degree in Political Science. 

Russell shared: "College was truly eye opening. It provided an explosion of awareness that has inspired me to become more." The first in his family to complete college, Russell is a role model for his family as well as for his ALearn students.

Russell's dream is to found a nonprofit that "helps level the playing field by reducing poverty and inequality." 
Welcome, Linda Prieto and Kelsey Austin-King!
New Programs Staff Members 

Linda is our new Vice President of Programs. Prior to ALearn, Linda was an Assistant Professor in the College of Education and Human Development Department of Bicultural-Bilingual Stu dies at the University of Texas at San Antonio. In addition to teaching, she provided educational consulting services in the areas of cultural and linguistic diversity.  Prior to that, she was an Assistant Professor of Education at both Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and Midwestern State University. Linda has also held numerous positions promoting bilingualism and biculturalism in both academia and the nonprofit sectors. She holds  a B.A. in Sociology from Stanford, a Master of Education from Harvard, and a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin.

Kelsey is our new Program Manager for Middle School Programs. Previously she worked at the Office of the Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning at Stanford University, supporting digital and online learning. Before that, she   
ser ved as an English Teaching  Assistant on a Fulbright grant to Bogotá, Colombia. A graduate of Bay Area public schools, K e lsey cares deeply about increasing educational opportunities for  underserved students in California. She holds a B.A. in English and Educational Studies from Macalester Colle ge.
Sobrato Family Foundation awards ALearn 
2:1 Challenge Grant
Help us reach our match!

We are thrilled to announce that the Sobrato Family Foundation  has awarded ALearn a 2-year Challenge Grant. For every dollar donated in 2016 (from a new source or an increased gift) ALearn will receive $2 from SFF. Hel p us meet this challenge!     
Recognize These Super ALearn Students?

If you visited Super Bowl City  in San Francisco, you might have laid eyes on these two superstar ALearn alums, Anyssa (left) and Christina (right). 
Photos of ALearn students were featured because our co-founder, Julie Cates, won a Super Bowl 50 "Playmaker" Grant last spring, one of 50 given by SB50's philanthropic arm, the 50 Fund. The $10,000 grant funded training for 50 teachers last summer. Thank you, 50 Fund!
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