HW Bridge enrichment program starts

By Madi Massey ’21 and Keira Jameson ’22

Students from Bright Star Schools take classes at the Middle School as part of the HW Bridge program. The program, which started on Jan. 4, is a chance for students from other schools all over Los Angeles to take part in enrichment classes at the Middle School.

The three teachers leading the program are history teachers Rosemary van Vlijmen and Ian Ulmer and English teacher Damaris Saenz. There are six different classes offered to students: Robotics taught by math teacher Dan Reeves, Electronic Music by performing arts teacher Greg Goddu, Comic Book Writing by English teacher Steve Chae, Improvisation by English teacher Julia Grody, Comic Book Drawing by art teacher Robin Miller and Greek mythology by history teacher Laura Steinmetz.

The participants are able to get to know the school and what kinds of opportunities it offers.


“I like that I get to experience new things like making robots,” student participant Jade Areiano said.

Each trimester of classes is five weeks long, and students take two classes during each trimester. It includes the same group of 25 students for all three trimesters, and they are split into groups of about 12.

There are three schools involved this year, including Rise Kohyang Middle School, Valor Academy Middle School and Stella Middle Charter Academy. The classes take place every Tuesday and Thursday after school.

van Vlijmen said she is excited for the result of the experience.

“Our mission statement talks about ‘purpose beyond ourselves,’ and we’ve had a longstanding partnership with the Bright Star Schools, so we wanted to try to share the great resources and curriculum we have at our school with other students across LA and build those bridges,” van Vlijmen said.

Student volunteers are rewarded with 20 community service hours.

“It has been really fun so far and working with the kids, and seeing them grow and progress at  our amazing campus has been so delightful,” student volunteer Capri Woss ’21 said.


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