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(April 24-28, 2017) A letter of appreciation OUSD After School Programs Office Compliance & Operation Manager…

Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week is a time, each April, when those who work with youth during out-of-school hours are recognized and appreciated. The OUSD After School Programs Office would like to take this time to appreciate BACR’s Samantha McCary and Darielle Vigay, who were selected to participate in OUSD’s 2016-17 After School Program Quality Fellowship because of their superior service to after school and achievement in leadership, program quality, and professional development.

Feb. 23, 2017 Alameda: Our congratulations! to Robbie Wilson, Program Manager of BACR/LEAPS Expanded Learning Program in Alameda for being presented the Marian Wright Edelman Award from the City of Alameda. Robbie was honored for the healing and connecting work she does in the City. The mission of her LEAPS "Hearts and Hands" program is to teach youth to be of Service in the community and to leave NO ONE behind.

The City of Alameda's Mayor and the Sean McPhetridge. Superintendent of AUSD were surrounded by 200 others celebrating Black History Month. Robbie showcased the youth from our AUSD elementary after school programs, and partnered with the Encinal High Black Student Union at the event. Robbie has created a true collaboration between the City of Alameda, AUSD, and BACR!

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.