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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Education, Educational Services, Family Services for Adolescent Parents, Primary & Elementary Schools

Mission: Our mission is to promote academic and personal success for motivated middle school students from under-resourced communities. WHY DO WE NEED THE PENINSULA BRIDGE PROGRAM? 1. Low-income students with college aspirations are swimming against the tide. In the 8th grade, the desire to go to college is about as high among low-income students as among their affluent classmates. Whereas nearly all of the latter will realize their aspirations, only about two-thirds of the former will do so. Intervention strategies to aid low-income students have to begin in the 5th and 6th grades, not on the eve of college attendance. -Research Report from The College Board, Swimming Against the Tide: The Poor in American Higher Education, by Patrick T. Terenzini, Elena M. Bernal, Alberto F. Cabrera, Published: 2001 Unfortunately, many students in the communities that Peninsula Bridge serves are “tracked out” of college preparatory classes while they are still in middle school. Algebra I is frequently referred to as “the Gatekeeper Course” because enrolling in this class by 8th grade remains the most reliable predictor of future success in college. For seventeen years, Peninsula Bridge has been helping students from under-resourced communities successfully enroll and excel in college track courses in high school. 2. Parents of underserved students need more help and resources to get their children on the college track. Parents are central players in the intergenerational legacies that are passed on and which shape children’s educational attainment. Low-SES (Socio-Economic Status) parents need more and better information earlier in their children’s lives about what is possible and available in the way of college attendance and financial aid. -"Swimming Against the Tide: The Poor in American Higher Education,” by Patrick T. Terenzini, Elena M. Bernal, Alberto F. Cabrera, Published: 2001 Parents, some of whom may not have finished high school or attended college themselves, can also be overwhelmed by the academic and financial requirements of thier children’s education. Peninsula Bridge gives parents the information they need to help guide their children through middle school, high school, and ultimately the college application process. 3. With budget cuts for California public schools, private organizations must step up to the plate and offer additional academic resources and guidance. Dwindling resources in the state of California will only increase the dramatic academic achievement gap that separates low-income and minority students from students being raised in high-income communities. Peninsula Bridge is a privately funded organization that is committed to easing the shortfalls created by an overburdened public school system. Our Philosophy Three things make Peninsula Bridge successful: 1. Committed students and their families 2. Outstanding public and independent schoolteachers 3. Access to premier educational resources and schools This combination allows us to provide a program that is academically rich and challenging, prepares students for high school and ignites their love of learning. Our History Peninsula Bridge is a recognized educational institution within Silicon Valley, and is respected for the excellence and dedication of its staff and board members. Serving 26 children in its first year, Peninsula Bridge now serves more than 300 children and their families annually. Since its inception in 1989, the program has helped more than 3,000 low-income students reach their academic potential. Peninsula Bridge was founded in 1989, as a partnership between a public school district (Ravenswood/East Palo Alto), an independent school (Sacred Heart Prep), and a local nonprofit organization (Boys and Girls Club). In its early years, the organization grew rapidly through the energy and leadership of its founder Les Dewitt, and was supported by a group of committed volunteers who hailed from independent schools on the Peninsula. This group of volunteers consisted of a number of respected community leaders, including Fran Arrillaga, Margaret Beltramo, Mary Floyd, Rosemary Hewlett, Penny Howell, Penny Meier, and Susan Myers.

Target demographics: low-income middle school students in under-resourced communities of San Mateo county.

Geographic areas served: San Mateo County, CA

Programs: The overarching objectives of the Peninsula Bridge Program include the following: - To prepare students for college preparatory classes, particularly Algebra I and college preparatory English; - To educate students about life-long learning and the development of strong intellectual habits; and - To develop self-esteem through academic and personal achievement. Peninsula Bridge's signature summer academic program takes place at five independent schools on the San Francisco peninsula. Over 200 students are enrolled each summer. Every site hosts a full-day, five-week summer academic enrichment session on their campus from June to July. All sites emphasize Algebra readiness and reading/writing skills. Our curriculum for the summer is aligned with state content standards and is integrated with that of the students' public schools. All sites hire both public and private school teachers, and offer free meals to all participants. In addition, Peninsula Bridge offers some select year-round programming and a series of parent/family education training sessions to support the families of Peninsula Bridge students.

Community Stories

6 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 4

HOLA MI NOMBRE ES MARTIN MORA Y EL DE MI ESPOSA ES LUGARDA GOMEZ. A MI ME GUSTARIA COMENTARLES QUE MI HIJO : JUAN MORA TUVO LA FORTUNA DE PARTICIPAR EN EL PROGRAMA DE PENINSULA BRIGE POR 4 ANOS CONTINUOS LO CUAL SIEMPRE VOY A ESTAR AGRADECIDO YA QUE MI HIJO CRECIO ACADEMICAMENTE ADEMAS DE CRECER COMO PERSONA Y MORALMENTE YA QUE ESOS ANOS QUE PASO EN PENINSULA BRIGE ESTUVO RODEADO DE GRANDES PERSONAS YCOMPANEROS QUE VENIAN LLENOS DE ENERGIA , DE GRANDES IDEAS Y DE MUCHA MOTIVACION QUE INFLUYERON EN MI HIJO EL CUAL SIEMPRE VOY A ESTAR AGRADECIDO AHORA MI HIJA DAISY ESTACON UNA APLCACION EN PENINSULA LA CUAL ESPERO QUE ELLA PUEDA SER PARTE DE PENINSULA BRIGE E INFLUYA COMO LO HIZO CON MI HIJO ''''' MUCHAS GRACIAS A TODOS LOS QUE FORMAN PARTE DE PENINSULA''''' BRIGE'''''

Review from Guidestar

1 Judy Woo

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is the 2nd summer my daughter, Francesca, has been in this program; it is such a wonderful program. Francesca enjoyed every single day there and always tells me what she did at the program. She got the opportunity to explore into more areas than what we can provide to her at home. This summer, she was exposed to the subject of psychology for the first time and was so excited about it...I think she may have found another subject she really loves besides mathematics. Also new this summer was a parent education seminar which I thought was truly helpful. To top it all off, everything was provided for free! I feel very fortunate to have Francesca in this program and we look forwards to returning next summer!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I like that they provide summer school for these kids at no cost because there are a lot of us that can't afford it. My daughter loves this program and I like that it's not just academic but it's a lot of interactions with the other kids because going into middle-school is hard enough. Giving them this opportunity to move on into high school with a little bit more than most kids have behind them..confidence...how to deal with things a little bit better...how they're talking about college now so it's not just us running our mouths, it's them. It's teaching them ways that they can apply for colleges and scholarships and what they have to do. She loves it. And I pick up two other kids every day and they love it and I get a report every day.

12

Client Served

Rating: 5

Lo que yo pienso es que es un buen programa. Mis hijos se han beneficiado bastante. [Editor's translation: What I think is that it is a good program. My children have really benefited from it.)

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is Georgina Ruiz and my daughter's name is Daisy Alvarado. She was in the Peninsula Bridge program last year, and this is her second year. I would like to write about the tremendous impact the Peninsula Bridge Program has had on my daughter's life. She was very happy while in the program and she really loved the ways the teachers interacted with her. The teachers and site director were very knowledgeable--very caring, loving, and kind. She learned a lot. I was amazed how she learned big words, like all the muscles in the body. She learned those words last year, but she still remembers them and uses them. She also could not wait to come back all through the year after she finished the program; she was always talking about coming back to the program. She was so excited to come back to the program that she couldn't even sleep the night before the first day. She also was really encouraged to improve, and got very motivated in her life after attending the program.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Mi nombre es Olga, yo tengo a mi hijo David en Peninsula Bridge. El esta muy contento en este programa y yo he mirado que el le ha servido mucho. Yo quiero dar las gracias por haberme dado la oportunidad a David de asistir a este programa. Todo es excelente y tratara de aprovechar lo que le estan ensenando. [Editor's translation: My name is Olga, I have a son David in Peninsula Bridge. He is very happy in this program and I have seen that it has served him a lot. I want to express thanks for David's opportunity to attend this program. Everything is excellent and he will try to use what they are teaching him.]