Learning Bridge of the Sierra offers college prep program | SierraSun.com

Learning Bridge of the Sierra offers college prep program

Nicole CheslockSpecial to the Sun

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TAHOE/TRUCKEE andamp;#8212; High school seniors are invited to participate in the college preparation program offered by Learning Bridge of the Sierra, a nonprofit organization that offers personalized educational services on a sliding scale for Truckee Tahoe teens and adults.andamp;#8220;Our commitment to high standards, accurate information about the CSU, UC and private college application process and incredible literacy and computer classes make it possible for teen and adults to reach their goals in a low cost and highly supportive learning environment,andamp;#8221; explains Emily Wexler, a former career technician at Truckee High School, who runs Learning Bridge of the Sierra with Heather Urrea Sullivan, a certified bilingual cross-cultural language in academic development (BCLAD) teacher.andamp;#8220;Learning Bridge of the Sierra provides outstanding educational opportunities as a pathway to a better life.andamp;#8221;Learning Bridge’s core programs include the college preparation program for high school seniors that begins on Tuesday, Aug. 7; computer classes for English and Spanish speaking adults; English and Spanish literacy; General Equivalency Diploma (GED) training; and primary, secondary and associate level certificates through Mexico’s Ministry of Public Education.The Truckee Tahoe Community Foundation-supported Sullivan and Wexler’s recent initiative to rebrand the non-profit organization in order to continue providing exemplary hands-on literacy, computer and college prep services. Outcomes of the rebranding effort include the new name andamp;#8212; Learning Bridge of the Sierra andamp;#8212; and new logo and opportunity to reach a broader segment of the Truckee Tahoe community. The website http://www.learningbridgesierra.org will soon replace http://www.plazatruckeetahoe.org.

It is not too late to take advantage of Learning Bridge’s rigorous program for four-year college bound students. The program begins with an introductory workshop offered from 1 to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 7, at the Boys andamp; Girls Club in Kings Beach. The workshop is free to all students entering their senior year of high school. Participants will review their senior year calendar, the college application timeline, learn about financial aid basics and complete eighty percent of their CSU application during the workshop.The second workshop, offered on Aug. 14, offers parents and students in-depth financial aid information. To qualify for the second workshop, students must attend the Aug. 7 introduction. Registered students will also receive extensive services including personal monitoring of applications, essay coaching, scholarship and financial aid document help and coaching in all aspects of the college and financial aid process throughout 2012.Kyra Stone, a 2011 high school graduate majoring in Business Entrepreneurship at Boise State University in Idaho shares feedback: andamp;#8220;Deciding to be a part of the college preparation program was one of the best decisions I made. I couldn’t have asked for a better and more personal experience. Not only was Emily Wexler an extreme help, she was a complete relief in stressful and frustrating times. Emily helped me with decisions such as finding what school was right for me, answering questions on how to fill out a scholarship correctly, and even helping me figure out what classes and tests I needed to take in order to succeed.andamp;#8221; Learning Bridge’s sliding scale offers higher income families an excellent value in college prep services. Students who qualify for free and reduced lunch, receive the same services at no cost and families in the middle invest a few hundred for an outstanding program.andamp;#8220;No one should be left out,andamp;#8221; explains Wexler.All interested seniors can register for the Aug. 7 workshop at http://www.plazatruckeetahoe.org/programs, and interested sophomores and juniors can contact Learning Bridge online or by calling 530-426-3225 to begin planning for college.

Adults and teenagers learn basic and intermediate computer skills through Learning Bridge of the Sierra. Curriculum is offered in both English and Spanish and includes computer basics including using the Internet and email, creating Word documents and files, burning CDs and learning how to access Tahoe Truckee Unified School District Aeries system to view grades, attendance and homework.For more information contact Sullivan at director@plazatruckeetahoe.org or 530-906-9556. Se Habla Espanol.

Sullivan also designs reading and writing focused classes to meet the needs of the community. The literacy classes focus on Spanish and English for English language learners.andamp;#8220;We most often teach beginning and intermediate Spanish literacy, transition from Spanish to English and intermediate English literacy,andamp;#8221; shares Sullivan, who has been teaching for more than 10 years.Another goal of this class is to prepare students for primary or secondary certificates from Mexico. Interested Spanish-speaking individuals who haven’t completed their formal education can complete the requirements for obtaining primary and secondary certificates through an online program administered by Learning Bridge. The certificates are approved by the Instituto Para Los Mexicanos en el Exterior, and delivered to Learning Bridge through the consulate in Sacramento. Learning Bridge also offers GED classes for adults during the school year.

The Plaza Comunitaria, an educational center open to adults, is located in the TTUSD computer lab at 11603 Donner Pass Road in Truckee. It is a place where community members learn how to read, write and finish their primary and secondary education as well as take life and work skills courses. For more information, call 530-906-9556 or email director@plazatruckeetahoe.org.andamp;#8212; Contact Nicole Cheslock of NC Communications at nicole@nicolecheslock.com.