Promoting Healthy Development
Building Capacity to Effect Change in Communities
February, 2017: BACR is proud to announce that Helena Ortiz, Site Coordinator at Ruby Bridges Elementary School, received honorable recognition at Alameda County Office of Education's "Bridging the Bay" conference. This award was presented directly from Iqbal Badwalz, Education Programs Consultant at the California Department of Education, who was very impressed after his recent site visit to Ruby Bridges. Congratulations, Helena!
One might not think that basketball can help kids gain critical math skills. But for twin sisters Patricia and Angela Rodas, that’s exactly the case. The Rodas sisters have become rather like local celebrities in the San Francisco Bay Area through their success in NBA Math Hoops, a board game and curriculum that helps kids learn math through the lens of professional basketball.
To play NBA Math Hoops (and learn math at the same time) students divide into teams to analyze NBA and WNBA players’ stats, strategize, and solve increasingly complex math problems. On October 6, 2016, the Rodas twins showed off their math expertise gained through NBA Math Hoops by winning (for the second year in a row!) the Bay Area NBA Math Hoops championship, as part of the national kick-off for Lights On Afterschool 2016.
A freshly painted mural on the front of the building may announce its presence on Noriega Street, but the Sunset Neighborhood Beacon Center is by no means a new addition to the Outer Sunset. In fact, SNBC recently had a block party to celebrate its 20 years of after-school programming, family-focused services and community involvement in the Sunset District.
“People have walked past for years and not known we were even in the building,” SNBC Director Matt Pemberton explained, “so we just did our mural and put our name on the wall. That’s never been there.” It may seem like a small thing, but for SNBC it’s another step towards greater visibility within the community it strives to serve.
Pedro Ramirez, 12, sent his robot into action, moving its jaws forward to grab a green plastic block. When he tried to place the block on top of a stack of other blocks, it tumbled off.
The Davidson Middle School student was participating in a robotics class with about 19 other students as part of a summer program offered by San Rafael City Schools in partnership with Bay Area Community Resources. The program runs June 23 through July 22.
“The students are testing out the robots. They just finished building them and they’re making sure they work,” said Jake Pollak, a program coordinator for the community resource group.
The robots roll on four wheels, with jaws in the front, a mini-computer in the middle and bright green gears. The students assembled the approximately 2-foot-long robots using VEX robotics kits purchased by the school district.
“It’s not a competition. We work together to stack the blocks,” said Alex Paz, 13, who attends Davidson with Pedro. As he spoke, Priscilla Huitron, 12, steadied the stack as Pedro renewed his effort to add another block.
BACR is in its second year of our partnership with the NBA Math Hoops Curriculum and the Golden State Warriors. For the 2014-2015 School Year, we had 28 sites participating across 6 school districts. Our students showed a marked improvement in their math skills, as well as an overall increase in their enjoyment of math. In addition to the academic achievement, we were given generous incentives from the Warriors. One of our sites was able to receive a Behind the Scenes tour of Oracle that included sitting on the court while Stephen Curry warmed up, a jumbotron appearance at half time that showcased their work with NBA Hoops, and a visit from the Cheer Team during the game. Another school had a live player event where a Warriors player came to the school to play the game virtually from their basketball court. The Warriors also provided swag for the students, free game tickets, and a number of other incentives that provided motivation for our kids to keep up the good work with practicing their math skills.