For 26 years, Peninsula Bridge has supported middle school students in a five-week summer program. In 2011, we added an academic-year program for 8th grade students. And, in 2015, we launched two after-school programs for 67 6th and 7th grade students in San Mateo and Mountain View Whisman districts.
The middle school years are a crucial time for a student’s academic success. Research from Johns Hopkins University* and numerous other studies show that youth in high-poverty environments are either launched on the path to high school graduation or “knocked off track” during this critical time. Yet when youth participate in high quality out-of-school-time programs, they gain social-emotional and academic skills, connections to school and family, and positive behaviors that enable them to stay on track toward college and career*.
Each year we work with 400 underserved middle-school students who possess high potential; all are referred to us by our partner public and independent middle school principals and teachers.
Middle School Academy Summer Program, Grades 5-8
Our middle school students in grades 5 through 8 participate in a five-week summer program. Attendance is 100%. Almost all of our students attend all four summers at six independent Bay Area school locations including Castilleja, Crystal Springs Uplands, Menlo School, Sacred Heart Schools, St. Matthews Episcopal Day School, and Woodside Priory.
Experienced teachers lead Algebra and English classes that are aligned to Common Core Standards. Students develop critical thinking skills and a love of learning through an engaging, hands-on curriculum and electives ranging from nutrition to art and robotics. STEM classes in coding, robotics, and 3-D design and printing show students real world applications of computer science.
Students are encouraged to explore career tracks by visiting premier Bay Area companies like Thumbtack, Yelp, Yahoo, Pizza My Heart, and Google. At Google, the students learn about robotics, satellite imaging, Streetview, cartooning and the culinary and hospitality side of the business. They leave knowing the company’s values: "Embrace the hard things, tackle problems that matter, fail early and often and at Google, there is no "I" in team."
Middle School Academy After-School Program, Grades 6-7
Peninsula Bridge partners with the San Mateo and Mountain View Whisman school districts to provide expanded learning day programs for 6th and 7th grade students also enrolled in the summer program. The after-school program runs for two and a half hours, two days a week and includes small group, engaging instruction using a blended learning, inquiry-based model. In line with Common Core Standards, the Peninsula Bridge program helps build creativity, innovation, critical thinking, problem-solving, collaboration and communication skills. Additionally, student skill development focuses on note taking, independent work, cooperative work, reading and math comprehension, and community-building skills.
Read a magazine here called True Beauty written and produced by some Middle School Academy students at our San Mateo site.
Middle School Academy, Grade 8 Program
8th grade students attend Saturday workshops during the school year to prepare for high school. Students develop skills in advocacy, public speaking, leadership, critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, study skills and time management. Parents also attend workshops in financial planning, the teenage brain, and technology.
Middle School Stats