Posted on June 6, 2013 12:09 PM
By Deirdre Marlowe, Executive Director
The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity with our Launch
Event, a Parents Auxiliary Event, and nine orientations. It has been a
joy to meet new students and families, and reconnect with those who are
Life is pretty busy at Bridge even when we are not
working with our summer scholars. One of the most exciting changes since
last summer is the re-envisioning of Bridge as a consortium of leading
independent schools. In a sense, Bridge has been a consortium all along,
but we didn't always think of it first and foremost in that way. We
currently have two Heads of School on our Board, but as a consortium all
site Heads of School will become Board members. We believe the new
approach will enhance the schools' ability to contribute their expertise
to our continuous program improvement, engage with our summer scholars
and their families during the academic year, and collaborate in more
ways with our partner public schools.
This year we piloted a
Transitions Program for eighth grade Bridge alum and their families (See
Vol 10, Issue 1). I would like to thank Eastside College Prep and
Junipero Serra High School for hosting our sessions, TAs Emma Markey and
Karina Uppal, and the many "guest" TAs from Serra. When we concluded
the program on May 11th, gift certificates for perfect attendance were
given to the parents of students who achieved that goal. Exit surveys
indicated that the program fills a need: in fact, students and parents
had lots of ideas about things we should add next year. I am delighted
to report that the program is fully funded for 2013-2014 so that all
eighth grade alum and their families might benefit.
the Summer Launch Event, and getting ready to share the STEM of sail
with our summer scholar sailors, we are becoming experts on the
America's Cup. Bridge Cup finals will be held at the Sequoia Yacht Club
in Redwood City, and hosted in part by the Peninsula Youth Sailing
Posted on June 6, 2013 11:17 AM
This is a bittersweet moment in
my time with Bridge. Summer 2013 will be my third, and last, summer. I
am grateful for the opportunity to have served as your Executive
Director in a time of growth and change. Please be confident that Alan
Austin, with the assistance of the Consortium, will insure that the
transition to my successor is smooth. It has been a pleasure getting to
know and work with all of Bridge's many constituencies. I look forward
to seeing what lies ahead for the middle school youth we serve.
Note from the Board Chair:
Deirdre noted above, she has decided to leave us after this summer. We
are grateful for her work over the past two years, and we will miss her.
Deirdre is leaving in a very professional way, with ample notice, and I
am confident that we will find a wonderful new Executive Director for
Posted on June 6, 2013 10:25 AM
Over 70 people gathered on May 6th
at Sacred Heart to help launch our Summer 2013 program with its Bridge Cup
theme. Several TA's passed hors d'oeuvres and chatted with guests about
Peninsula Bridge. As guests enjoyed the fare, they were treated to an
entertaining and informative presentation on the origins of the
America's Cup and upcoming Bay Area events by Tom Ehman, Vice Commodore
of the Golden Gate Yacht Club and Director of External Affairs for the America's Cup.
The event is called the America's Cup not because the USA won it, but because America
was the name of the boat which won the first contest in 1851. US teams
continued their winning streak and kept the Cup for 132 years. A silent
auction provided several opportunities to bid on nautical items.
Thank You to all of our wonderful supporters and sponsors for making our first annual Summer Launch Event a success!
Posted on June 6, 2013 9:32 AM
Angela Birts, Bridge Alum
joined our Board in March. She is
currently Director of Diversity and Outreach Specialist at Menlo School.
Angela is a Bridge alum who entered the program as a 13-year-old 6th grade student. She went on to graduate from Menlo School where she also
served as a Teacher Assistant, and Master Teacher for the Bridge
program. After undergraduate work at Lake Forrest College in Illinois,
she earned a Master's Degree in Policy, Education, and Leadership
Studies (POLS) from Stanford University Graduate School of Education.
Before joining Menlo School, Angela worked at College Track and Citizen
Posted on June 6, 2013 9:01 AM
Rick Boesen will lead the Sacred Heart sites (5th and 7th
grade programs). He has taught for more than twenty years in Florida,
Hawaii and California. Currently, Rick teaches U.S. and World History at
Junipero Serra High School, San Mateo. Rick earned a Masters in
Pastoral Studies from Loyola University, New Orleans, and has been named
Teacher of the Year four times.
Tait Wade will lead the Crystal Springs site (7th and 8th
grade programs). Tait teaches sixth and seventh grade English at
Crystal Springs, and coaches middle school boys and girls soccer. After
graduating from Kenyon College, Tait taught in Texas, New York and South
Africa as a Peace Corps volunteer, where she worked as a teacher
trainer and helped to build literacy programs. She also served as a
mentor teacher for Summer Bridge in Philadelphia and San Francisco.
our summer intern, comes to Bridge from Southern Utah University where
she received her BS in communication, public relations, and journalism.
She will work with the development team, defining our social media
strategy, and supporting our summer events.
Welcome Rick, Tait, and Krystle!
Posted on June 6, 2013 8:55 AM
Most of the schools in our Consortium are represented in our
inaugural PA. The Auxiliary's primary purpose is to increase awareness
at their respective schools. This group of energetic and committed
parents is excited to spread the word about our program. PA members
- speak about Bridge at "PTA" meetings;
- host House Parties to introduce people to Bridge;
- invite people to the summer open houses at the sites;
- host a table at our annual breakfast; and
- many other opportunities...yet to be determined!
We do have room for additional members from Pinewood, Castilleja and Saint Francis; contact Maureen Garrett email@example.com
for more information.
Posted on January 29, 2013 11:15 AM
By Deirdre Marlowe, Executive Director
Be the Torch was the theme of our annual October Breakfast. It
continued the summer's Olympic theme, and gave us a framework within
which to celebrate students and alumni. A highlight of the program was
remarks by Bridge alumna Mar y Sol Alvarado. She began by sharing how
she "should have been a statistic," as the child of an immigrant mother
of modest means, but that Bridge inspired her to want to go to college,
led her to find the college of her dreams, and to her eventual choice to
"give back" by leading a nonprofit serving youth in East Palo Alto.
y Sol's journey provides an example of positive outcomes that are
difficult to measure or quantify. How do we know that summers of
"inspiring the WANT to learn" lead to on time high
school graduation, college matriculation and success? Is it the
cognitive skills that we teach? Does the way that students think about
themselves as students affect academic outcomes? Last summer we began to
increase our efforts in these uncharted waters by having the majority
of our summer scholars participate in PERTS. This is a "one-on-one"
two-session computer intervention for middle school students derived
from the work of Dr. Carol Dweck at Stanford on growth mind-set. People
with a fixed mindset believe that their capacity for accomplishment is
fixed. Those with a growth mindset "believe that their most basic
abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work; brains and
talent are just the starting point." The brain, then, IS like a muscle.
Posted on January 29, 2013 11:05 AM
Further Preparing Bridge Alum for High School
On October 13, 2012, Bridge launched a Transitions Program pilot: a
10-session course designed to help students and their parents finish
crossing the bridge to high school. Half-day sessions are on Saturdays;
there are two sections- one at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto,
the other at Junipero Serra High School in San Mateo. Just as in summer,
there are TAs - in this case from Pinewood, Sacred Heart Prep and
The first session was a bi-lingual program for students and
parents called "How About High School." It was led by Cathy Shelburne,
Upper School Admissions Director for Menlo School with the assistance of
Prasant Nukalapati, ED of A Better Chance, Sharifa Wilson of College
Track, and Sandy Brook, Associate Director of Admissions at Serra. Paula
Calamato, Bridge Program Associate, translated. Cathy talked to parents
and students about the importance of choosing the right high school,
what to look for in a high school, and the independent school
application process. The session also covered how to fill out those long
school applications. There will be two more sessions which include
parents: considering college, and navigating high school (which is being
done in partnership with the Sequoia Union High School District).
Posted on January 29, 2013 10:58 AM
Alan Austin, Chairman
Alan Austin became Chair on January 9th after two years on the Peninsula Bridge Board. He has been a Managing Director at Silver Lake
Partners since 2003. Before becoming involved in private equity, Alan
was a practicing attorney for twenty-five years and served for five
years as the Managing Partner of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.
After he finished his J.D. at Stanford Law School, Alan clerked for U.S.
Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas. Alan's daughters all attended
Castilleja School. He served on the Board there for many years
including four years as Chair. He initially became familiar with the
work of Peninsula Bridge through Castilleja, which is a Bridge summer
site. Alan is an SV2 Partner - he renewed his connection to Bridge when
we received a grant from them in 2010. He is also on the board of
directors of Fresh Lifelines for Youth (FLY). Alan concentrates his
non-profit activities on programs that serve under-resourced youth; he
believes strongly in the mission of Bridge and the work that we
Posted on January 29, 2013 10:50 AM
Bridge Cup 2013
Last summer, Peninsula Bridge walked to London for our Olympic
Summer. This year, the world is coming to the Bay Area to compete in the
34th America's Cup. It is being contested in the Bay in
September by wing-sailed catamarans which must meet exacting
specifications - each is approximately 70 feet long, the course is 25
miles. The silver America's Cup is the oldest trophy in sports. It was
first awarded in 1851 in England when the New York Yacht Club's America
sailed past England's Royal Yacht for the win. The NYYC successfully
defended its title for 132 years - the longest championship in sports
The STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) of
sailing will be front of mind for our summer scholars as they compete in
our Bridge Cup. Teams of five or six will make their own boats to
exacting specifications: each is approximately 6.5-7 inches long, and
the course is 10 feet. Each site will hold its own heat. Winning site
teams will compete for the Bridge Cup at a local yacht club. All final
participants will get to sail and mind the boom, members of the winning
team may even get to trim a sail or tend the tiller.
Posted on January 29, 2013 10:31 AM
2012 Bridge TAs
We would like to express our most heartfelt thanks to the 100+ TAs
(teacher assistants) who staffed our 2012 summer programs. These
outstanding young people served as enthusiastic role models for our
students, and worked with our teachers to provide high touch,
Congratulations to the 37 TA's who volunteered
their time and talents, and earned the President's Volunteer Service Award! If
you are a high school or college student who is interested in working
as a TA for the Summer 2013 program, please contact the appropriate site director listed on our website.
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 July 16, 2012 4:08 PM
is finally summer! Peninsula Bridge kicked off its 23rd year by
bringing all Peninsula Bridge scholars together for the first time in an
Opening Ceremony. Over the next five weeks our summer scholar athletes
will learn new skills, make new friends, and maybe even surprise
themselves as they master new challenges. I cannot wait to visit all our
sites, and hope that you will visit at least one.
The week before
our program was a busy one for all of us. In addition to setting things
up and working with their teams, on Thursday all teachers and site
directors participated in a day of professional development. There were
presentations by Apple Distinguished Educator, Dan Meyer, on channeling
perplexity to increase learning, Melissa Christie and Ginny Pender from
the Santa Clara County Office of Education on the Common Core Standards,
and Carissa Romero on the PERTS Growth Mindset Project, in which our
summer scholars will participate. There were also opportunities for
teachers from different sites to share best practices within their
disciplines. On Friday, TAs had a half day of their own professional
development, and the opportunity to release their inner middle-schoolers
making site banners for the Opening Ceremonies. In addition to the
learning, I particularly appreciate any opportunity we have to build
community across sites.
Posted on July 16, 2012 3:03 PM
By Daniel Davis, Summer Intern
Hi, my name is Daniel Davis and I'm a marketing intern here at Peninsula
Bridge. I am a senior at San Jose State where I am studying advertising
and hope to graduate in the fall. My main job is to manage Bridge's
Walk to London website
, and keep you informed about the happenings at
A lot happened in just the first week alone: along with
our summer scholar athletes, I got to meet three Olympians and be
inspired by their words at our Opening Ceremonies. It was inspiring,
too, to see the more than 400 summer scholar athletes together. Since
then, almost every day has been a whirlwind of site tours and field
trips. There is plenty of fun and learning to be had by all at Peninsula
Posted on July 16, 2012 2:09 PM
Creative Partnerships Build Bridges
It takes a community to build the kind of bridges we do so that
motivated middle school students from under-resourced communities can
make a successful crossing from elementary school to the college track
in high school.
Many thanks to DPR Construction
for organizing the first annual BroomBall Tournament. Teams were fielded
by DPR, Google, and Redwood City Electric. The trophy was awarded to
one of the Google eights who will return to defend their title in 2013.
Why not join in the fun next year?
Posted on July 16, 2012 11:25 AM
This year's high school class of 2012 included over 100 Peninsula Bridge
alumni who completed our program during the summer of 2007. We wish
all of these graduates the best of luck as they move on to college and
other new challenges! Here are a few of our alum and their college
Brian Nguyen, Arizona State
Fatu Tupou (right), University of Utah
Notre Dame de Namur
Posted on April 2, 2012 12:15 PM
By Deirdre Marlowe, Executive Director
When I first got involved in this kind of work I was passionate about education as an instrument of socialjustice, a tool for achieving the equity that our Founding Fathers wrote about. I still have that passion, but have since learned that sometimes this work is largely about buses and food! Not quite true, although sometimes it feels that way: for example, the cost of transportation is about 80% that of our algebra readiness program.
Peninsula Bridge is best known for its Summer Program, so you might think that winters are quiet. Quite the opposite! Here are some of the things that we've been doing to prepare for Summer 2012:
- Learning about new approaches to language arts and algebra readiness;
- Exploring connections with other organizations so that our students will have wrap around support during the school year and when they go on to high school;
- Developing a transitions program for our eighth graders and their families to improve their success in high school and beyond; and
- Collaborating with our nine Site Directors to ensure the best possible Summer 2012 program for our students.
In addition to all the activity described above, Bridge Central is in training. This summer
we will be staging our first ever SummerFest. SummerFest 2012 will celebrate the London Olympic Games which begin in July on the last day of the Bridge summer program. Our sites will incorporate many curricular connections to the Games with an emphasis on history, geography and fitness. Students will be exposed to Olympic sports which are new to them. Two sites will hold a track and field event at a local college. Most exciting is that our students will walk to London: they will compete in our own Olympic Bridge-a-thon. Teams will compete within sites and across sites to see who will walk the farthest, and who will get there first - 5,731 miles or 8,645 kilometers! There will be opportunities for a variety of sponsorships. Look to our website soon to find out how you can become part of the Bridge-a-thon to London. Meanwhile, keep training for summer!
Posted on April 2, 2012 11:25 AM
We note with sorrow the passing of former Board member, Eric Salvatierra
. His insight, ideas,
and passion for our mission helped inform he work we do today; he is missed.
Posted on April 2, 2012 10:52 AM
St. Matthew's, Pinewood School, Saint Francis
Bridge will be adding two new sites in Summer 2012: Pinewood School in Los Altos Hills, and Saint Francis High School in Mountain View. Peninsula Bridge is also pleased to welcome a new site director to our 5th-6th grade summer program at St. Matthew's Episcopal Day School.
Scott Riches, President of Pinewood, says "Pinewood School is thrilled to be joining the Peninsula Bridge Program and becoming one of three host sites in Santa Clara County. We have been exploring opportunities to provide more public and community outreach, and feel Peninsula Bridge will be the perfect partner in achieving some of these goals." Dr. Bonnie Traymore will be the Site Director for Pinewood. Bonnie is a high school history teacher; she also leads a team of student volunteers who tutor at Crittenden Middle School. Bridge students and families will also benefit from the fact that Bonnie is a certified college counselor.
Mike Speckman, Director of Admissions at Saint Francis, says that Saint Francis is "eager to continue the pride and traditions Bridge has established. As the Admissions Director at Saint Francis, I have had the pleasure of meeting students and families that were in the Bridge program. They were extremely proud to be in a program that allowed them to continue to develop skills in the summer." Stacey Ho will be the Site Director for Saint Francis. Before joining the Saint Francis community, Stacey, who is a guidance counselor and college advisor, worked in public middle and high schools in the East Bay.
Dawn Carleton will lead our 5th and 6th grade summer program at St. Matthew's Episcopal Day School. Dawn currently teaches 5th grade at St. Matthew's, and serves as the social studies curriculum chair. Before coming to St. Matthew's, Dawn served as director of education at Sylvan Learning Center, and taught 4th grade at the International Christian School.
Welcome aboard Bonnie, Stacey, and Dawn!
Posted on April 2, 2012 9:27 AM
TA Nicole Cresci
Nicole is a great example of the power of our teacher assistants (TA's) and the important role they play in our organization. Nicole came to Peninsula Bridge through her 8th grade teacher, Brendan Gummerson who was the site director at St. Matthew's Episcopal Day School. As a sophomore TA, "I had an opportunity to see all of the work and energy that goes into teaching. I had no idea. I have always liked tutoring and working with kids so Peninsula Bridge was a good fit."
Nicole was not only a TA in our program, but she also volunteered to create a video for the Valparaiso Bowl, an annual football game between Sacred Heart Prep and Menlo School that raises money for the Bridge program. After putting in 2-3 hours of filming, another 4-5 hours of editing, Nicole delivered a polished and effective video that was played at the Valparaiso Bowl kick-off at both Menlo and Sacred Heart Schools and went viral on the internet.
When asked what she likes about Peninsula Bridge, Nicole replies "Bridge is a great program. Seeing how much the kids improve, how motivated they are and how much they appreciate the opportunity to come to Bridge really inspires me". Bridge is a family affair with the Crisci's. Her mother, Tina, attended a tour at St. Matthew's last summer, and her sister, Amanda, currently tutors Bridge students at St. Matthew's after school. Thank you, Nicole, for sharing your time and talents with Bridge and our students!
Posted on April 2, 2012 8:19 AM
It is a wonderful thing that after more than two decades of doing this work, we can talk about the success of our Bridge alumni. A study of our Class of 2006, high school class of 2011, reflects that:
- > 95% of Bridge alumni complete high school on time, as compared with 25% of their same age peers
- The majority of the graduates go on to post-secondary education
These are numbers of which we can be proud, since many of our students are the first in their family to graduate from high school, not to mention continuing on to college.
Posted on October 3, 2011 6:19 PM
By Deirdre Marlowe, Executive Director
This continues to be a year of New Beginnings for Peninsula Bridge. After a five day, nearly three thousand mile drive, I arrived in Palo Alto from Baltimore, MD, to serve Bridge as its fifth Executive Director. I arrived while our program was in
session, which gave me the opportunity to visit sites, and catch some of each one's closing celebration. To paraphrase Roman philosopher Seneca, "Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end." I believe that participation in our summer program gives our middle school students a good beginning to their next school year. Now I am beginning to get to know members of the Bridge community.
This year, too, Bridge saw the implementation of several new program initiatives which Chloe Kamprath, Program Director, came out of retirement to complete for us. Chloe developed a Family Resource Manual and companion-training piece. She also orchestrated the development of online pre- and post-tests aligned with CA State Standards in the areas of mathematics and language arts. Finally, she supervised the development and implementation of a programwide Teacher Assistant training program. I'd like to thank Chloe for her work with Bridge, and the support she provided in my first days, all of which will prove more than helpful as Bridge prepares for its next two New Beginnings.
Posted on October 3, 2011 5:30 PM
- 356 students served (171 boys, 185 girls)
- Rising 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th graders
- 19% more students than in 2010
- 51,264 program hours
- 3.5:1 Student/Teacher Ratio
Posted on October 3, 2011 4:34 PM
Collin is one of our newest board members, and is active both in the non-profit sector and as a private investor. In addition to his work with Peninsula Bridge, he is the current president and Board chair of Congregation Kol Emeth in Palo Alto. He is passionate about youth education, also having worked with Peninsula College Fund. Collin was President and a Board member at NorthStar Systems and an EVP at Advent Software. Prior to Advent, Collin worked in the private equity business and was a consultant at Bain and Company in San Francisco and Boston. Collin earned a B.A from Stanford University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He and his wife Shoshanah have two children: son Riley, and daughter Meredie. In his spare time, Collin coaches basketball and plays piano. Welcome aboard Collin!
Posted on October 3, 2011 2:44 PM
By Lupe Ortiz, Bridge Summer Intern
I first heard about Peninsula Bridge through a friend who had been a TA for Crystal Springs Uplands. I was familiar with what he did at that specific site, but had no idea there was more than one campus involved in the famed "summer program." All I knew was that he used to come home tired, happy, and talking about all of "his kids." I was curious to learn more about why both he and his students loved the program so much. I am currently a graduate student at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service in New York. My specialization is policy and non-profit management, so this internship provided an excellent chance to work behind the scenes and understand the inner workings of a non-profit organization.
Posted on July 20, 2011 4:30 PM
By Grainger Marburg, Executive Director
When I joined Peninsula Bridge in 2005, I had little more than a slim
idea of what I was getting myself into and how much the organization
would change me. I wanted to change the lives of middle school students
from under-resourced schools and communities. I wasn't interested in
how much I would change. It wasn't about me. Now, a little over six
years later, I am a changed man. What I was hoping I could do for our
students has happened to me. It's been a good journey. The
organization supports over 70% more students than we did in 2005. We
have grown to seven program sites from four, and have plans to increase
to ten sites in the next two years. We have a strong brand - something
that truly reflects who we are and what we do. Most importantly,
though, is the legacy we are creating for our students and their
families. Over 5,000 students have enrolled in Bridge since our first
summer program in 1990, and each year we learn more about the adventures
and successes of our alumni and the difference we have made in their
lives. It's an amazing testament to the work of Peninsula Bridge.
Posted on July 20, 2011 4:25 PM
Peninsula Bridge Board Member
Wang is one of our newest Board members. She and her husband Joe just
celebrated their 30-year anniversary! They have 3 children: Justin a
sophomore at Menlo School, and twins Kerry (daughter) and Alex (son) who
graduated from college in 2010 and are both currently working as
engineers here in Silicon Valley. Jamie's non-profit focus is on
and under-served youth. She was one of the first members of Silicon
Valley Social Venture Fund (SV2) when it began in 1998. In addition to
Bridge's board, Jamie is also on the Board of Downtown College Prep and
Kids in Common. We are very excited to have Jamie on our team!
Posted on July 20, 2011 4:20 PM
Alumni Updates - High School Class of 2011
This year's high
school class of 2011 included nearly 80 Peninsula Bridge alumni who
completed our program during the summer of 2006. We wish all of these graduates the best of luck as they move on to new challenges! Here are a few alumni updates:
Danny Mendoza Diana Carbajal
Danny Mendoza will attend Santa Clara University. Diana Cabajal, currently working as a Bridge TA, will be attending U.C. Davis.
Posted on July 20, 2011 4:10 PM
By Beau Nichols, St. Matthew's TA
into Bridge, I thought I wanted to be involved in the program to help
young students along the path of their educational careers. I started
by teaching new strategies in mathematics for the
soon-to-be-fifth-graders nervous about adding and subtracting
fractions. It wasn't long before I realized that Bridge is about so
much more than what happens in the classroom.
Every kid here looks up
to every one of his or her TAs. Whether we're playing a silly game at
8:00 am, disussing the philosophical weight of a novel, illustrating our
own short-story creations, or running around capturing flags under the
hot afternoon sun- they look at us with open eyes and open hearts. I
expected this to some degree--that's what I thought was so special about
the TA position. However, I don't think I could say that I expected to
be looking up to these kids in the same way they look up to us. They
participate in every activity with a genuine excitement that inspires me
to stretch to new levels of enthusiasm.
Posted on July 20, 2011 3:56 PM
Supporting the Bridge Mission
The Peninsula Bridge Program continues to benefit from creative
who assist us in our mission to provide academic and personal success
for motivated middle school students from under-resourced communities.
Here are some examples:
Whole Foods - for 2 months patrons who
brought their own bags to Whole Foods could choose to donate their 5
cents credit to charity. We received over $500 through this program.
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati, DPR Construction, NPR - California
Report, and Google hosted our students for Career Day. Our students got an inside view of each company and learned about jobs which may spark interest in a future career.
Conceptus - once again the Conceptus
Giving Board helped us collect supplies for our summer program. We
received over $1,000 worth of supplies.
DPR Construction - DPR employees were back again this year teaching bridge building to our students. What a fun way to see the connection between math and engineering!
Posted on March 24, 2011 2:40 PM
By Grainger Marburg, Executive Director
This issue is dedicated to all the talent involved with the Peninsula
Bridge Program. This talent begins with our students - each of whom has
achieved in the classroom and been recommended by a teacher to attend
our program - and includes our master teachers, teacher assistants, and
office staff. It also includes our board, advisors, volunteers, and
school partners. While I am not surprised by the range and depth of
skills, I am still struck by how fortunate we are to benefit from such a
rich tapestry of people who are involved with what we do. The articles
in this issue nicely illustrate this point. Ken Klieman, who was one
vote shy of being the state CLMS Teacher of the Year, has been involved
with Peninsula Bridge for more than ten years. He brings the same
passion to us every summer - the same commitment to teaching and
learning - that he gives his students throughout the school year.
Similarly, both former Bridge teacher Jhumki Basu and former Bridge
site director Nanci Kauffman (now Head of Castilleja) personify the values
and academic excellence we want to instill in every Bridge student and
teacher. Ken, Jhumki and Nanci are just a few examples of the talent
that have touched Peninsula Bridge and made it the program it is today.
Posted on March 24, 2011 2:30 PM
Peninsula Bridge is proud to have on staff exceptional master teachers
who create a dynamic and supportive learning environment for all our
students. One of these teachers is Ken Klieman from Bowditch Middle
school in Foster City who in January was named the California League of
Middle Schools Educator of the Year for Region IV. Most recently Ken
participated in the State Teacher of the Year competition and came up 1
vote short of winning. Bowditch Principal Judy Ross commented, "As a
teacher and mentor who challenges, inspires, and enables his students to
think critically, Mr. Klieman was nominated for this prestigious award.
His compassion and empathy exemplifies his outstanding commitment to
the world of education."
Posted on March 24, 2011 2:25 PM
On November 18th of 2010 Castilleja dedicated the campus garden to
Jhumki Basu '94, an alumna, past faculty member of Castilleja and former
teacher assistant at Bridge. Jhumki passed away on December 16, 2008
leaving us with memories of an amazing and inspiring human being. She
was 31 years old and died of breast cancer. Jhumki sought to make
science education exciting and accessible to students in underserved
communities and began the Discovery Science Program at Peninsula Bridge
during her summers as a student at Stanford.
Posted on March 24, 2011 2:15 PM
Former Bridge site director Nanci Kauffman was recently installed
as Castilleja's sixth Head of School. The ceremony featured a keynote
address by author Catherine Steiner-Adair, author of Full of Ourselves:
A Wellness Program Advancing Girl Power, Health and Leadership, who
told students that they were in "the right place at the right time - Ms.
Kauffman is one of the country's most exciting, creative and inspiring
educators - unwavering in her commitment to educating girls to lead."
Nanci has been involved with Peninsula Bridge since 2001 when she ran
the Teacher Collaboration program and then the Tech Girl's program for 2
years at Castilleja. Currently Nanci is serving as the School Head
representative on our Board of Directors. We congratulate Nanci in her
new position at Castilleja and look forward to her insight and expertise
as we continue to grow our program to include more independent school partners and most importantly more students.
Posted on March 24, 2011 2:10 PM
Peninsula Bridge is pleased to welcome the following members to our 2011 board:
Many thanks to Louise Paustenbach who is stepping down from the Board, but will continue to work with Bridge Programs.
Posted on November 11, 2010 7:53 AM
By Grainger Marburg, Executive Director
Rosemary Hewlett, a founding board member and staunch
advocate of Peninsula Bridge for the past twenty years, passed away on
October 29th. The news saddened me. Although I didn't know Rosemary
well, I experienced her warm hospitality and immense generosity from
the moment I joined Bridge in 2005. She had a rare, playful quality
that drew people to her. Her astute mind was as bright as her heart
was big. Rosemary genuinely cared about the program and was always
ready to hear an anecdote about a former student or get an update on
how things were going. She exemplified the best attributes of an
engaged contributor and friend and taught me a good deal about
compassion, integrity, and keeping one's convictions alive.
Posted on November 11, 2010 7:49 AM
Our 7th Annual Bridge Builder's Society Breakfast, "Dream, Believe, Achieve" took place on October 13, 2010. Thank you
to all of our guests and volunteers who gathered to celebrate our twenty year anniversary, and honor our founders.
Bridge students Erick Sandoval and Fabiola Rivera led our guests in a
challenging round of the math game "Krypto". Roger Zamora, a former
Peninsula Bridge TA, was our keynote speaker. Roger currently works as
the director of operations for the Summit Preparatory Charter High
School in Redwood City. The program was closed with the song "If You
Dream", performed by alums Ricky Whitfield, Korrine Nickings, and
student James Bryant-Smith. View our 2010 video shown during the breakfast:
Posted on November 8, 2010 2:33 PM
What can be more uplifting than seeing someone from your community
thriving, confident and living their dream while demonstrating to you
that anything is possible?
Ricky Whitfield did that and more for
fellow Peninsula Bridge alum Korinne Nickings, current Peninsula Bridge
student James Bryant-Smith and our entire audience at our 7th Annual
Benefit Breakfast, leading the trio in a professional and inspiring
Posted on November 8, 2010 1:52 PM
by Hadley Greswold, Bridge TA 2008 - 2009
Driving back from our end-of-Bridge field trip last summer
(2009), one of my students fell asleep in my lap, and another cried
silently into my arm, unwilling to let the program end. I knew that
the contribution I had made to the educational future of these students
was important, but I had also helped create a second home for them
where they felt safe and loved. It was with these memories that I
pushed myself to run more than ten races to raise money for the
Peninsula Bridge program. I trained 5-6 days a week, running 3-8 miles
a night. The races spanned a time frame of nine months, through the
end of 2009 and into the summer of 2010. The generous contributions of
my sponsors reflect their commitment to the future of the Bridge
students. For with one pebble tossed in a puddle, a ripple emanates,
and changes the surface of the water.
The running project raised over $10,000 for the Peninsula Bridge
program. Hadley, please accept our heartfelt thanks for your generous
support and dedication to our students.
Posted on September 20, 2010 1:18 PM
By Grainger Marburg, Executive Director
Now that students are back in their regular classrooms for the new
school year, I want to take a moment to reflect on the 2010 summer
program. I spent a lot of time visiting our program sites this
summer. I sat in classrooms and observed our master teachers and
teacher assistants (TAs), met students, and talked with the site
directors about the successes and challenges. It was an important and
meaningful thing for me to do. It reminded me why I do this work and
why Peninsula Bridge is so critical. Nothing is more compelling for
the heart and mind than witnessing a child's face transform from
self-doubt to joy as she struggles with a math problem and solves it,
seeing the pride on a child's face as he answers a tough question, or
observing a TA working 1:1 with a student and seeing how much the
student appreciates the personal attention and how much the TA is
growing and learning from the student. These are the moments that
inspire me. They are the moments that nourish the teachers and
re-energize the site directors who are devoting a big chunk of their
summer to the program. This is what inspires them to work with us;
this is the common ground we share.
Posted on September 20, 2010 1:05 PM
by Edan Freiberger, St. Matthew's Summer Program TA
From the first day of staff training, I was immediately struck by the
enthusiasm, motivation, and passion of my fellow TAs. Our site director,
Brendan Gummerson, set the bar high from the moment we walked in the
room. However, what has truly separated Peninsula Bridge from other
programs and summer camps I have worked for in the past are the kids
themselves. I have never witnessed such impetus to learn at such a
young age. Teaching is frequently said to be a thankless job and
people often tell me "Even if the kids don't appreciate it now, you're
doing a good thing." However, these students DO appreciate it and
appear to cherish every day that they spend here. I have been asking
students what their favorite part of Peninsula Bridge was. I have yet
to hear a single student respond by saying, "Recess." Their excitement
and motivation makes every day rewarding and extremely fun. Anyone who
has the opportunity to be involved in this program will understand my
enthusiasm. Thanks for the great summer, Peninsula Bridge.
Posted on September 20, 2010 12:46 PM
by Anna Paustenbach, Summer Intern
This summer, I was lucky to have the opportunity to be an intern for
the Peninsula Bridge program. After three years of being a TA, and
then one as the head TA at the Sacred Heart site, I returned to
Peninsula Bridge as an intern in the main office. From this vantage
point I began to understand the bigger picture: transitioning from
working one-on-one with students in the classroom to understanding the
overarching goals and strategies that guide our seven program sites.
This was a great lesson for me in terms of how a community comes
together to increase student learning.
Peninsula Bridge is comprised of two communities that are normally separate--the independent school community and the public school families
from low-income areas. It was inspiring to me to see these communities
find a way to work together for the betterment of all. I will never
forget what Les DeWitt told me when I interviewed him for a press
release I wrote earlier in the summer. He said, "If it takes a village
to raise a child, then it takes a community to create and sustain the
Peninsula Bridge program." That has stuck with me because it reinforces
the vision and power of new communities to make lasting change.
Anna is a Senior at Santa Clara University majoring in English and Religious Studies.
Posted on September 20, 2010 12:29 PM
We are thrilled to welcome Brian O'Kelly as a new member of the
Board of Directors. He learned of Peninsula Bridge when he was
researching youth organizations for DPR Foundation, the philanthropic
arm of DPR Construction. Brian encouraged us to apply, we received
funding, and along the way we discovered Brian's passion and commitment to local youth. In short, Brian expressed his
interest in getting more involved with Peninsula Bridge, impressed our
leadership team and is now a new member of our Board. Since joining
our organization Brian has:
Brian holds a Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering from
Stanford University and has been in construction for 25 years. He
lives with his wife Christine and their 12 year old son Brian in
Belmont. We welcome his talent and experience which will help move
our mission forward in the years ahead.
- Facilitated a Career Day at DPR for our students
- Created a curriculum for a "Bridge Building" class and assembled
volunteers from DPR Construction to teach it to our rising 8th grade
students at two sites
- Begun planning for a potential follow up field trip for students to view a newly constructed bridge in the Bay Area
Posted on July 14, 2010 8:46 AM
excitement and laughter could be heard as our alumni, staff and TA's
from years past gathered at the Sacred Heart campus for Peninsula
Bridge's second alumni reunion. Not only was this our second reunion,
but it was a celebration of our 20 year anniversary. The Peninsula
Bridge program held it's first summer program 20 years ago at Sacred
Heart so it seemed appropriate to have the reunion where everything
began. Before our reunion we had a board-sponsored reception and
honorary guests included:
- Dolly Sacks - Former program officer at Packard Foundation. Packard
gave us one of our first grants.
- Dr. Charlie Mae Knight - Former Superintendent of the Ravenswood
School District who saw the importance of the program for her students.
- Les DeWitt - Founding member of Peninsula Bridge and current board
Posted on July 13, 2010 10:14 AM
Peninsula Bridge was given
the opportunity to receive much needed supplies through an innovative giving
program conceived by Silicon Valley company, Conceptus. Peninsula Bridge created 'giving cards'
with supplies that were needed for our summer programs, such as binders,
gardening tools, pens, paper, t-shirts and composition books. Employees from
Conceptus then chose from $15, $20, and $25 cards that listed these supplies
and donated them to Peninsula Bridge.
In total, the generous employees of Conceptus donated over $1,200 worth
of supplies for our students. The
supplies were distributed to our school program sites, and are already being
put to good use. Thank you, Conceptus!
Posted on July 12, 2010 9:30 AM
By Alum Demetra Jones-SchobyFirst, please accept my
sincere apology for the belated update. As you can imagine, our
lives have been in turmoil since our home was destroyed during the
plane crash in East Palo Alto last February.
After a month-long stay in a hotel, we moved into a rental
property located in East Palo Alto very close to our original home.
My mom has been orchestrating the project to rebuild our home, and
all seems to be going well....so far (gulp!). However, we still do
not know just when construction will begin, and how long it will
last. We can only hope that we will be back in our home by year end.
Posted on July 11, 2010 9:03 AM
by Grainger Marburg, Executive
Anniversaries and reunions can
be powerful events. They have the potential to engender strong
emotions and catapult us to the past. They are also opportunities to
reflect on where we are now and where we hope to be in the future.
Though I have only been with Peninsula Bridge for five years, I have
become part of a rich mosaic of individuals that has spanned twenty
years. A lot can change in that time. Twenty years ago at Peninsula
Bridge's inception, Germany became a united country, Nelson Mandela was
freed after 27 years in prison, and the internet became a global
phenomenon. Peninsula Bridge itself has evolved, expanding to 7 sites
and currently serving 300 students this summer. Some things can also
stay the same, such as the enduring commitment to our mission that so
many folks have demonstrated over the years.
Posted on March 4, 2010 4:00 PM
Our 6th Annual Bridge Builder's Society Breakfast,
'Passport to Success' was a huge triumph! Thank you to all who attended
to support Peninsula Bridge. Demetra Jones Schoby, an alumnus of the
Peninsula Bridge program, was our keynote speaker. Since graduating
from Peninsula Bridge in 1993, Demetra graduated from Spelman College,
worked as an equity trader in San Francisco, and was one of the early
supporters of For Youth By Youth, a community based organization in
East Palo Alto. Demetra's enthusiasm and passion for "giving back" were
Posted on March 4, 2010 3:00 PM
In the summer of 1990, a group of 26 middle school students from East
Palo Alto cautiously stepped upon the Sacred Heart Prep campus and participated
in the inaugural year of the Peninsula Bridge Program. Spearheaded by the indefatigably optimistic
Les DeWitt and an enthusiastic Sister Brown at Sacred Heart, the Program
quickly gained traction and expanded to Woodside Priory the following
year. By 1994, Menlo, Castilleja
and Crystal Springs Uplands had also joined the Peninsula Bridge family, and we
recently welcomed St. Joseph's and St. Matthew's Episcopal as program sites as
well, enabling us to reach almost 270 underserved students from East Palo Alto,
Menlo Park, Redwood City, and San Mateo.
Posted on March 4, 2010 2:00 PM
One of the ways Peninsula Bridge has succeeded in expanding and delivering high
quality programs is by soliciting the help of talented volunteers and interns. One such volunteer is Angie McPhaul, who is currently a student at Stanford University, majoring in Urban Studies. Angie began her journey with Peninsula Bridge in June of 2009 as a
teacher's assistant at the Menlo site and worked after the program was over at
our main office helping measure student achievement over the summer.
Posted on March 4, 2010 1:00 PM
One of the many facets of Bridge is our families with multiple children who are a part of the program. The Waltons, one of these families, have two alumni and one current Bridge student. Mrs. Emy Walton explained, "the
parents' job is to make it possible for the child to get a better education by
sacrificing the simplest thing; time".
Time, however, is not the only thing needed to help children succeed in
their education. According to John
Walton Sr., "Bridge is a way to
level the playing field by providing equal academic opportunity. I say that in our family that mission
has been accomplished. Our kids
are definitely well prepared."
Posted on December 29, 2008 12:50 PM