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Education Partnerships Summer Fellows connect with local students

The Education Partnerships (EdP) Summer Fellowship programs hosted local early childhood and secondary education students in June and July for tutoring and mentoring relationships that support their academic goals. 

The East Palo Alto Stanford Academy (EPASA) and High School Support Initiative (HSSI) programs offered a holistic academic experience for middle school and high school students, while the Ravenswood Reads Summer Boost program centered on early childhood education. Through tutoring and mentoring relationships and research efforts, fellows were able to build community and address education equity in their work.

Ravenswood Reads Summer Boost Program

The Ravenswood Reads Summer Boost Program underwent significant changes in its second year, partnering with other centers to incorporate research as a major component of the program and including high school students as intern tutors. This was also the first year that the program took place entirely in person.

In the program, five EdP fellows provided intensive literacy training for 33 local high school and college students who were volunteering in classrooms with the Boys & Girls Club of the Peninsula. For four weeks, students had tutoring sessions each morning before working with approximately 150 first and second grade students.

 Through a collaboration with the Language to Literacy Research Lab in the Graduate School of Education, pre- and post-test surveys were given to fellows, intern tutors, and staff at Boys & Girls Club in order to research the effectiveness of the program. The students receiving literacy training would take an assessment test to gauge their reading skills through the Rapid Online Assessment of Reading (ROAR) project at Stanford.

"This wouldn't have been possible without all of the partnerships that we had been working to put in place since October of last year," said Renee Scott, director of early education for Education Partnerships at the Haas Center. "We have taken a lot of learnings away from this to understand whether the program is a viable model."

The fellows were engaged with the secondary education program fellows throughout the program, working on leadership skills and having larger conversations about topics that would inform their work, such as access and equity in education.

EPASA and HSSI Programs

The guiding theme for secondary education programs EPASA and HSSI was "Mirror, Mirror, on the wall: How can we have it all?” Reflections on Community, Belonging, and Wholeness."

Six EdP fellows worked as teachers and teacher assistants in 11 different classrooms, serving over 130 students in Menlo-Atherton’s summer school program. They delivered curriculum, helped students complete assignments, and served as mentors. As part of their work with Menlo-Atherton summer school, the fellows also organized and facilitated two school-wide community building and mental health days, where they led wellness workshops, taught dance, and made jewelry.

Following a full day of classes, the fellows facilitated enrichment activities, workshops, and field trips for a cohort of 25 students, with the goal of fostering a sense of community on campus and deepening their personal sense of leadership and agency. A wide range of areas were covered, from STEM education to the role of art in mental health. 

Through six different field trips to locations that included Pescadero and UC Berkeley, students continued their learning with experiential opportunities to examine public versus private education systems and local conservation efforts, among other topics.

A highlight of the summer was a partnership with Anamatangi Polynesian Voices for a culturally grounded workshop where youth explored aspects of their identity, discussed

 solidarity across difference, and engaged in movement practice.

The overarching goal surrounding these experiences was for students to achieve their academic goals while also reflecting on what it looks like to create a space of belonging for all and what their role in that process might look like.

Armando Castillo, the coordinator for 49ers Academy, saw this reflected in the fellows' interactions with the students:

"One of the intended outcomes this summer was to build community amongst our youth, and I truly believe we accomplished this. The fellows’ dedication and patience empowered our youth to learn and build relationships with each other and the staff.

A highlight of the summer was watching the fellows learn and grow as educators. They took what they learned from the teachers they were paired with and implemented it to ensure the youth had a positive first time experience in high school."

While the summer has been full of opportunities for the students, programming won't end with these summer programs. HSSI tutor-mentors will continue to support the high school students as they adjust to a new academic year in the fall at Menlo-Atherton high schools.