Shining stars: middle school runs after-school enrichment program


Middle school math teacher Dan Reeves ’94 teaches charter school students about robotics during one of the after-school sessions, which aim to enrich students. Credit: Rosemary Vanvlijmen

Eli Adler

Harvard-Westlake partnered with Bright Star Schools to launch the HW Bridge Partnership, bringing 27 seventh graders from charter schools to the Middle School twice a week to participate in enrichment courses taught by faculty.
The new program ties in closely with the core tenets of the Harvard-Westlake mission statement, according to HW Bridge coordinator and history teacher Rosemary Van Vlijmen.
“In regards to our mission statement, we want to be diverse and inclusive not only on campus, but in the community as well,” she said. “We want to be inclusive of all students and give a lot of students the chance to try things they wouldn’t be able to, further tying in to the idea of purpose beyond ourselves.”
The Bridge program has provided the students with opportunities they don’t often have in their communities.
“From facilities to technology in the classroom that we don’t have on our campus, our students are being exposed to activities and learning styles they haven’t experienced before,” Stella Middle Charter Academy Dean Rob Brown said.
Coming from Stella Middle Charter Academy in West Adams, Rise Kohyang Middle School in Koreatown and Valor Academy in Granada Hills, the students are spending time with other middle school students both from their school and Harvard-Westlake and taking classes that would be hard to find in their home communities.