I started volunteering at ALearn last year in order to help out a friend, Kathryn Hanson. Kathryn founded ALearn 4 years ago because she saw the achievement gap between the "haves" and the "have - nots" in Silicon Valley. She saw this at the public school where her son attended in Los Altos California. Kathryn has a background in high technology and consulting as well as a lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
She discerned that the "gatekeeper" for success in high school was algebra. If a student did not succeed in math, they were not going to succeed in high school. Without doing well in high school, a college education was not very likely.
Hence she founded ALearn which provides free summer school classes in pre-algebra for middle school students. These classes are held for 5 weeks, 4 hours a day at public schools throughout Silicon Valley. The class follows a professional curriculum and is taught by professional teachers and college teaching assistants.
The results have been very impressive and ALearn has grown to serve 1200 students in 14 locations with a budget of $600,000.
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
I have visited the classrooms and personally witnessed the excitement that the kids have in learning and conquering new concepts. The classes are taught using a professional pre algebra curriculum - America's Choice Navigator.
Ways to make it better...
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
The resources of ALearn does not allow them to provide as many classes as the community demands. I