Anderson Children's Foundation

Learning to Learn

Academic, Literacy, and Career Technical Education (2022-2023)

CTE is more commonly associated with high school curriculum than elementary even though the California Department of Education (CDE) mandates for CTE to be introduced K-12. A curriculum for K-8 is not easy to locate throughout California and specifically in PSUSD (Palm Springs Unified School District). The following is a very brief cover of events that occurred as a result of this facilitator innovating CTE introduction to a fourth-grade class at Cabot Yerxa Elementary School in Desert Hot Springs.

“The Future of the World in This Room Today.” This quote is from a wall poster in a fourth-grade classroom at Cabot Yerxa Elementary School in Desert Hot Springs. It became the theme for the four small groups that met two days a week (twenty minutes per group) for the purpose of discussing ideas about what careers the participants might be interested in pursuing. The discussion revolved about various aspects of professions, careers, work and trades. The discussion was very loosely encouraged and focused on general topic content dealing with prompts that were intended to uncover what the students felt of knew about “the world of work;” however, more specifically led by PSUSD-CTE Brochure that presented the various career “Academies” that PSUSD offers. The Brochure was deployed to serve as a literary tool, i.e., supporting reading skill development, comprehension and reference.

The overall import brought a type of free-flow group discussion that was supported by very profound and surprising clarity that the fourth graders expressed about their level of understanding types of work and professions. However, the discussions also unveiled discrepancies in how much some of the students were not aware of the many areas of work and skills or education required to assume a profession or type of work. However, the overall reception was a resounding YES that the students enjoyed it and wanted more time and detail to explore possibilities. Many students wanted the project to continue in the fifth grade; however, in an after-school format that would allow for more time and the introducing of representatives from various career paths to speak to them.

This initial Project holds promise for supporting many students, early on, to begin considering career, trade or professions and obtain a glimpse of where and how they might contribute to the future of the world.

Contact: Frank Elmore, MBA


Black Academic Mentor Program (2020-2021, 2019-2020)

Learning to Learn (LtL), since 2001, is dedicated to helping children develop and/or enhance learning and/or life skills. LtL is collaborating with Palm Springs Unified School District’s (PSUSD) African-American Parent Advisory Council (AAPAC) to initiate the Black Academic Mentor Program (BAMP). BAMP is a pilot project that launched, August, 2018, and operates at Cabot Yerxa Elementary School in Desert Hot Springs, CA. It is an initiative supporting PSUSD’s efforts to counter the academic under-performance of Black students.

Foci of the program are to develop enrollment concepts to attract Black students and involve them into the ‘Learning Circle’ wherein various strategies are implemented to introduce the ‘learners’ to develop or enhance their learning skills. ‘Mirror Talk’, ‘5W’s+H=Curiosity’, ‘What Did I Say’, ‘Directing’ and ‘Dictionary Usage Exercises’ are a few of the concepts and techniques used to lead ‘learners’ into their innate capacities to improve their learning capabilities.