BGC Pilots Khan Academy
For the past nine months, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sonoma Valley have piloted an after-school program introducing students in grades four and five to the acclaimed online educational site, Khan Academy. This winter, students meet three times a week, at either El Verano School or Dunbar School, to participate in the program. The 12 to 20 students enrolled in each session focus on math skills and work under the guidance of specialized staff member Mary Sargeant. The program is part of, and funded by, the Boys and Girls Club’s ASES program, which stands for After-School Education and Safety. The students work at their own level and their own pace as they become engaged in the videos, test problems and rewards accrued through participation. “The competitive nature of Khan Academy ... the ability to win badges and move up levels, is really appealing to these students, particularly to the boys,” said Sargeant. “It enables them to stay interested in math and work far longer than they might in a typical classroom setting.” Kirsten Schepp, senior ASES director and Sassarini program director, added, “Only about half of the enrolled students have access to computers at home so the opportunity to practice their math skills in an interactive online setting is a valuable one.” Pictured above are Sassarini fourth-graders, Lawson Lee, Wyatt Sanders and David Cruz. For more information, go to khanacademy.org.