Google Supports Catholic Charities’ STEM Learning Opportunities for Underserved Kids

Google Supports Catholic Charities’ STEM Learning Opportunities for Underserved Kids

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CORAL after-school students and staff at Anne Darling Elementary School join with local leaders and community members on March 2 to celebrate Google.org’s grant to support CORAL STEM. Pictured L-R: John Sze, Catholic Charities donor; Aldo Estrada, CORAL STEM Coordinator; Sara Reyes, Senior Division Director of Children, Youth, and Family Development; Ronald Hammond, Anne Darling Principal; Adrian Shurr, Google.org; Javier Gonzalez, Google.org; Bernice Paet, CORAL student; Gregory R. Kepferle, CEO of Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County; Michael Au, CORAL student; San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo; Raul Peralez, District 3 Councilman; Dominic Bejaramo, Assistant Superintendant, San Jose Unified School District; America Aguire, CORAL Program Director; Margarita Ojeda, CORAL Site Manager.

Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County and Google.org, the philanthropic team within Google Inc., announced a $325,000 grant to expand STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) learning opportunities in San Jose. The grant will be used to expand the STEM curriculum and install a mobile computer lab at one of 22 after-school programs in San Jose managed by Catholic Charities. The lab computers will come preloaded with software that guide the elementary students through fun and interactive activities to enhance STEM interest and understanding.

Catholic Charities’ after-school program, CORAL (Communities Organizing Resources to Advance Learning), is a K-8 extended learning program embedded in schools across San Jose Unified and the Franklin-McKinley School Districts.

“CORAL has proven to be of great value for students and the community. We serve nearly 3,000 children per day at our school sites. Kids get help with their homework, literacy support, and even a nutritious snack,” said Gregory R. Kepferle, CEO of Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County. “With Google’s support, we will have the tools to incubate new STEM curriculum at one site and then expand it to the remaining 21 sites.”

The pilot will be launched at Anne Darling Elementary School in the San Jose Unified School District, where more than 100 kids attend the CORAL after-school program each school day. The school serves 441 children, 86 percent of which come from socioeconomically disadvantaged households.

“Many households include parents that both work, often more than one job. CORAL keeps these kids out of empty homes or negative influences like gangs after the regular school day is over. We offer the kids a place to continue learning and now with Google’s help, their interest in STEM will grow, and they will aspire to STEM careers,” said Kepferle.

The grant–the largest single cash gift from a corporation that Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County has ever received–was announced on March 2, 2018 at Anne Darling Elementary School at a special event hosted by Principal Ronald Hammond and Catholic Charities. Adrian Schurr and Javier Gonzalez of Google.org were also present.

“Catholic Charities’ CORAL program, with its STEM focus, aligns with our priorities of educating kids and creating opportunities in STEM careers,” said Schurr.

To learn more about Catholic Charities’ CORAL after-school program, visit http://catholiccharitiesscc.org/coral-after-school-program.