PTA Enrichment Programs
Thanks to our parent community and the generosity of philanthropic organizations that have awarded us grants, the Alvarado PTA raised more than $400,000 last year. That money is used to provide our entire student body with the enrichment programs described below.
Each program is supported by a committee. To volunteer to help organize and/or implement any of these programs, please click on the appropriate email or visit the PTA Committees page. See the Calendar to see when these committees meet.
Our arts program dates back to the late sixties when Bay Area artist and Alvarado mom Ruth Asawa introduced discarded fabric, egg-cartons and milk cartons as tools that help children think creatively and solve problems. Some of the materials have changed, but the basic principle has not.
To volunteer, contact arts (at) alvaradoschool.net.
The English Learners’ Advisory Committee advises the principal, PTA and SSC on bilingual programs and services for ESL students. We organize family workshops in Spanish and community events. We are the voice of our children and we work to find solutions for their educational needs.
To volunteer, contact ELAC (at) alvaradoschool.net.
Thanks to the stewardship of our Go Green committee, Alvarado is a leader in the school district for its compost and recycling efforts.
To volunteer, contact gogreen (at) alvaradoschool.net.
Thanks to city voter-approved funding, all students visit the library with their classes once every other week. Our bilingual librarian reads to them and helps them find books they might like or need for reports. Teachers may also bring their students on days when the librarian is not at the school.
We have two bilingual literacy specialists who focus on Reading Recovery with first graders and coordinate the rest of the literacy program. They oversee four tutors who work with 30 students in grades 2-5. Thanks to a grant, we also have an afterschool tutoring program called Reading Partners that has reached more than 50 additional students. At every grade level, Alvarado teachers use “Writing by Design,” a nationally recognized program that trains teachers to develop literacy through writing.
In addition to supporting these core literacy programs, the Literacy Committee also oversees school-wide events such as our read-a-thon, book fairs and literacy-themed community events.
To volunteer, contact literacy (at) alvaradoschool.net.
We have a math specialist who provides one hour a day of in-class support to each of our split-grade (4/5) classes as well as tutoring for younger students. We are also hiring a teacher to create a special after-school club, divided by grade, for children interested in exploring grade-level concepts more deeply.
To volunteer, contact math (at) alvaradoschool.net.
Thanks to Prop H, all SFUSD 4th and 5th grade students receive the option to take instrumental music one hour a week. We also offer 10 weeks of Orff music for students in grades K-2 and a recorder-based music class for grade 3.
Outdoor Enrichment (Gardening)
Alvarado has two large gardens, one upper yard natural play space and one 1,300-gallon water storage cistern. The gardens are divided into four specialized areas where we connect learning and play to environmental awareness and stewardship. Teachers utilize the garden in an ad hoc manner and coordinate lesson plans with our Science program.
To volunteer, contact outdoor_ed (at) alvaradoschool.net.
Alvarado’s physical education includes Motor Skills classes and the Playworks recess program.
To volunteer, contact healthykids (at) alvaradoschool.net.
Alvarado’s Science Committee secures funds for science field trips, runs Science Nights and supports our outstanding science instructor Ms. Sandzik, now in her third year at Alvarado with 10+ years in the subject of enhancing the science curriculum for TK-12th. Skills are taught through hands-on learning for all students in grades TK-5.
To volunteer, contact science (at) alvaradoschool.net.
The role includes support of classroom teachers and provides enrichment in our science lab. The lab time is discovery-based learning and hands-on investigations. Here, students ask questions, use models, design experiments, and explain solutions. TK-5th & SDC students get sessions of enrichment all year long. She also helps coordinate the parent-run science sack program for kinder and first grade students.
The committee also organizes three to four science event per year, featuring experts from various museums (the Exploratorium and California Academy of Sciences, for example). We also write grants for science-related field trips and develop other opportunities to increase our kids’ exposure to science.
Students learn computer skills starting with mouse manipulation and on to basic Web site construction and Excel spreadsheet function. Most of these skills are taught by our half-time, bilingual computer teacher, but we have computers in every classroom, too. The Tech Committee also helps out with tech support for teachers, and with the rollout of new hardware and software in the classrooms.
To volunteer, contact technology (at) alvaradoschool.net.