We’re a part of our larger community, partnering with local schools.
The Peninsula Bridge Program takes place on the Menlo campus every summer. Peninsula Bridge supports motivated students from under-resourced communities. During the summer program, these students take Math and English course and participate in art, music, and sports. Many graduates of the Bridge program have enrolled at Menlo, and several Menlo students serve as Teaching Assistants in the summer, mentoring the younger students.
Taft Community School
Menlo has a long-standing partnership with Taft, an elementary school in Redwood City that serves a large population of socioeconomically disadvantaged families. Ninth graders engage in Literacy Day, during which Menlo students collaborate with Taft teachers to engage Taft students in literacy activities. After school, Menlo students tutor the younger kids and lead sports and arts clinics. Some help fifth graders with their public speaking unit or volunteer at Taft’s community field day. And advocacy groups “adopt a family” during the holidays: Taft families who can’t afford to buy holiday gifts make requests through the school’s Family Center, and a Menlo advocacy group donates those items.
“What’s made this program successful is the relationship we’ve built with Taft,” asserts Jessie Brugos, our previous Director of Community Engagement. “It’s not one-way planning. Our two schools’ values are very similar: they’re a community school, and we’re a community of one. Both schools are invested in having parents, students, and teachers all working together. The more time both communities spend together, the more they recognize the similarities—and that’s powerful.”