Posted on August 30, 2012 9:48 AM
By Deirdre Marlowe, Executive Director
The Summer 2012 program is over. It is quiet now. We miss
the excitement of visiting sites and learning that at Bridge Math is just about
everybody's favorite subject! How could it not be with questions like: "How
many times would you have to fold a piece of paper onto itself to reach the
moon?" The emotion of hearing one student say, "Bridge is like a garden, and we
are the flowers..." The satisfaction of seeing a student snack on an apple rather
than chips after a nutrition class. The "ah ha" when students visit workplaces
only seen on tv, and know that with education they are real possibilities. The
suspense of how much weight it might take to collapse a popsicle stick bridge
students built. The power of having entire classrooms say, I believe in myself.
After my first full summer serving Bridge, I believe in our mission more
than ever, and the power of what we do to help motivated middle school students
achieve academic and personal success. Every summer our master teachers devote
the majority of their time to the core subject areas of Algebra readiness and English language arts. However, other factors contribute to
student success, including engagement, self-efficacy and persistence. These are
exemplified by something that happened at our fifth-sixth grade site at St.
Matthew's Episcopal Day in San Mateo as an outcome of our Walk to London. They
started a 15,000 Steps Club for students who walked what is a bit more than
seven miles in one day.
Posted on August 30, 2012 9:03 AM
The final steps have been taken, miles recorded, and calculations made...
The site that walked the furthest was St. Matthew's with an amazing
3,299 miles, over half the distance to London. Mary E. from St.
Matthew's was the top female walker, and Kelvin S., from Crystal
Springs, was the top male walker. Each student logged 103 miles!
Congratulations to all of our summer scholar athletes for walking a
combined 14,072 miles...enough to make it to London, and back, with miles
Posted on August 30, 2012 8:08 AM
Lucas Brooks, Summer Intern
Lucas Brooks, Paly Class of 2012, joined us this summer as our video intern. "As a
Black student whose parents are both Ph.D.'s, one of the first things that
became important to me when I entered high school was that everyone have the
same educational opportunities that I do, so I did whatever I could to spread
the resources I had been blessed with to my underrepresented peers. In my
school district Lucas Brooks (left), Video Intern
there has historically been a sizable minority achievement gap.
In the Class of 2011, roughly a third of Latino students and less than half that
percentage of Black students graduated ready to go to a four year college
whereas nearly all of the White and Asian students (85-90%) did. Outside
school, most of my activities were focused around this issue, and I discovered
that the most practical way of approaching it was through engaging the entire
community -- students, parents, teachers, administrators and school board
Posted on August 30, 2012 7:38 AM
Theresa and Students Calculate Portion Size
Theresa Donovan Brown has been part of the Peninsula Bridge community for more than a decade. Her daughter, Julia, was a Teacher Assistant at the SHS Bridge Program for twoyears where she spear-headed an instrumental elective. Last spring, Theresa asked if sites would beinterested in a nutrition class for our summer scholars, especially since somany of them are at risk for Type II diabetes. Six sites were. Theresa comes by
her interest in nutrition organically: her mother was a long-time nutrition
teacher, and Theresa had been a volunteer teacher of the subject in San Mateo
Posted on August 30, 2012 6:52 AM
TAs are high school or college students from our host schools, or Bridge alumni. They
are a critical link between site directors and master teachers, and the middle
school students we support. TAs are assigned to master teachers and assist in daily planning and delivery of lessons, including prepping materials, correcting homework and providing differentiated instruction. TAs also plan and lead enrichment activities. They
do a great deal toward engaging our summer scholars in their education. TAs are
old enough to be respected, but young enough to be believed. During a site
tour, one student told a visitor, "You're really smart... And nice. You should
apply to be a TA next year." TAs benefit, too. Results include improved leadership, teaching skills,and cultural competency, increasingly important in this ever-diversifying world.
Here are some of this summer's TA led activities in addition to sports, arts and crafts,
and advisory activities: an inquiry-based science curriculum, real-world math,
self-defense, gymnastics, computer-based music composition and production,
Mandarin Chinese, an inter-site track and field day, geometry, creative writing, guitar, physics, photography, organic gardening, meditation, yoga... And more...
I make a point to send each student
onto the bus with a high five or fist pound along with a smile and cheerful
goodbye. Every minute of their experience is important to me and I want their
last impression of Bridge to be memorable even if they are just entering a
yellow school bus. The little things matter."
Rachael Siegman, 2012 Menlo TA
Posted on August 28, 2012 5:07 PM
On Thursday, July 26, 2012 we took a break from the five
long weeks of reading, writing, and problem solving. The highly anticipated
Raging Waters trip was under way, and the kids all piled on to the bus at 9:00
in the morning. Since there were over 60 kids and nine TAs, constant TA
supervision was not at all possible. Luckily the water park is not that large
so our check-in spot was not far from any of the rides. In order to keep kids
from getting lost or injured, the buddy system was put into effect. Each
scholar athlete paired up with his or her best friend or found a group of
friends to share the day with.
As it turned out, banding together with your best buds is the perfect way to try new
things and face your fears. I certainly experienced this feeling when a group
of 7th graders kept encouraging me to join them on the newest
addition to the park, Bombs Away!
Last year I did not have the courage to even walk up the stairs to this slide.
Complete with a fully enclosed tube, a fifteen-foot drop, and speeds up to 20
mph, this ride just seemed too dangerous for me. I felt bad about disappointing
them this time so I joined them on their journey. As we neared the starting
capsule with the trap-floor, I realized that I wasn't just tackling this slide
for the 7th grader's sake, I really wanted to face my fear of this
ride and come out of the blue and black tunnel with a sense of accomplishment.
At the end of ride we all celebrated and high-fived each other.
Throughout the rest of the day the scholar athletes went down every slide they could. The weather could not have been better, as it was not to hot but not too cold. I
was very happy to see that each kid made it to the 1:30 checkpoint and boarded
the bus on time ready to leave the park. One of the kids remarked, "The three
and a half hours was the perfect amount of time at Raging waters, because now I
am too tired too go on any more rides". Certainly exhausted, I could not agree
Posted on August 26, 2012 7:37 PM
Be the Torch9th Annual Peninsula Bridge BreakfastDate:
October 25, 2012Time: 7:30 - 8:30 am Check in 7:00 am
Location: Sharon Heights Golf & Country Club
Address: 2900 Sand Hill Rd., Menlo Park
Witness the torch of learning being passed from teacher to student to volunteer!
For more information, call our office at: 650-473-9461
** Registration for this event is now closed**
Event sponsored in part by:
Posted on August 17, 2012 12:13 PM
A final Word from Castilleja Site Director Mary Hurlbut
The Peninsula Bridge Program at Castilleja concluded with a
lovely End of Summer Celebration. Directed and produced by the Peninsula Bridge
TAs (who managed lighting, stage direction, costuming, choreography and program
details), the rising fifth grade Bridge girls lit up the stage with fabulous
dance, poetry, and singing performances. The profusion of thank you's, and the
flood of tears and hugs at the end of the event were testament to the strong
bonds established throughout the short five weeks.
Posted on August 9, 2012 4:33 PM
Always We Begin Again
summer is quickly ending while the Peninsula Bridge's Woodside Priory Program
has been coming to a close. During the last few days of Bridge the kids have
taken their last few tests, showing how much they have learned in just a couple
of weeks. On Thursday the kids went on a field trip to the Exploratorium in San
Francisco. This trip was related to the students' art class because they have
been learning about illusions for a couple weeks. The kids loved the exhibits
and at lunch we had a small picnic near the golden gate bridge.
Posted on August 9, 2012 4:29 PM
As the beginning of the fifth week
started the thought that ran through my mind was: "How am I going to feel after
I leave these kids?" When we first started Bridge I looked at the kids, and I
never could have imagined that I would feel this sad at the end of the end of
the program. I have made so many relationships with these kids, and now I can't
imagine my summer without them.