By Maddy Baxter
A charter school in memory of Gabriella Axelrad, who attended seventh grade at Harvard-Westlake before being killed in an accident, is looking for students to volunteer as math tutors for elementary school students.
This summer, Jacob Axelrad ’10, Reyna Calderon ’12, Katie Dewitt ’00, Jack Petok ’11, Allana Rivera ’13 and Parker Thomas ’12 helped prepare students at the Gabrielle Charter School for the Independent School Entrance Exam and arranged a preparation book donation.
However, the school just recently created a math club, allowing for a new service opportunity.
Liza Bercovici (Joe ’00, Jacob ’10) founded the Gabriella Charter School in 2005 in memory of her daughter Gabriella, who died in 1999 when she was struck by a vehicle while riding her bike in a national park.
The Gabriella Axelrad Education Foundation was originally opened as a dance program, “Everybody Dance!”
Volunteers will work with about 40 math club members on a variety of problems and participate in competitions. They will be needed every Friday afternoon from 3 to 5 p.m. at the school’s campus in Echo Park.
“Having visited the campus last year, I can say that Gabriella Charter School is one of the most inspirational places I’ve ever been, and I hope some students decide to get involved,” Upper School Dean Beth Slattery said. “It will be absolutely transformational for them.”
Many Harvard-Westlake families have been involved with the Gabriella Charter School, but Harvard-Westlake has only recently formed a closer relationship with the school in the last year.
Jenny Diaz ’96 will run the new math club and students interested have been encouraged to contact her directly. Students do not need to apply and the school is hoping for at least two or three volunteers to help out.