Friday, August 22, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Davis Bridge enters new phase as founder moves on

Janet Boulware, center, founder of the Davis Bridge Educational Foundation, is handing off responsibility for the successful after-school tutoring program to Julie Ramirez, left, and Liza Lopez. Both are UC Davis graduates with backgrounds similar to the low-income English learners the program serves. Fred Gladdis/Enterprise photo

By
From page A1 | May 15, 2013 |

After 10 years with the Davis Bridge Educational Foundation, founder and longtime executive director Janet Boulware is moving on. But the tutoring program will continue under the auspices of the Davis school district.

“I started Davis Bridge while my sons were growing up because I noticed there were Latino children in our school district who didn’t have backpacks, and often didn’t have a snack, and seemed to not be turning in their homework,” Boulware said.

She realized she was seeing the oft-discussed achievement gap, and volunteered as a reading tutor at Pioneer Elementary, then became a paraeducator working with students to improve their reading skills.

“I started running little reading clubs at the Royal Oak trailer park in the summer, and I got to know the families, and got to see the challenges that low-income children in Davis were facing,” Boulware said. “That inspired me to learn Spanish, and go back to school and get a degree in Chicano studies.

“And as I learned about education and culture, I wanted to design an after-school program. I had met so many first-generation Chicano students at UC Davis, and when I asked them ‘How did you get this far?’ they told me they had a lot of help in terms of after-school tutoring and mentoring.

“So I thought it would be great if I could connect UC Davis students who had a similar life experience and similar background with elementary and junior high students in Davis.”

Boulware laid the groundwork for Davis Bridge in 2003, and started matching tutors and kids in 2004.

The program grew over the succeeding years, and now serves upwards of 500 pupils.

“And this  year, the kids who were our first-year students when we started Davis Bridge are graduating from high school,” she said. “Some of them are going on to four-year colleges in the fall, the majority are going to community colleges. It is really a joy for me to see that our kids who have been in the program since they were second-graders are graduating. And the support that Bridge has offered has helped increase the graduation rate — we’re one piece in that, along with their teachers and their families.”

Boulware — who was honored with the city’s A.G. Brinley Award this year for her work with Davis Bridge — said she decided several months ago that this is a good time for her to turn over the reins.

“We have two excellent staff people that could take over, and the grant support from UC Davis is solid,” Boulware said. “So it was a good time for me to transfer out — everything is running very well.”

Davis Bridge will phase out as a nonprofit group, and the Davis school district will pick up the tutoring efforts.

Boulware will turn things over to Julie Ramirez and Liza Lopez. Ramirez grew up in the Monterey County community of Soledad, graduating from high school in 2006. She came to UCD to pursue a degree in sociology and Chicano studies and became a tutor for Davis Bridge through a work-study program.

After graduating, Ramirez worked for a time on the staff of an Assembly member in Sacramento, but returned to Davis Bridge when a staff position opened up. She’s now the Bridge coordinator at Montgomery Elementary School.

“I’m very excited,” Ramirez said. “Janet has said many times that Bridge isn’t ending, it’s just a new chapter in the book. I’m looking forward to what is to come.”

Lopez grew up in the Tracy/Patterson area in San Joaquin County, and came to UCD as the first member of her family to attend college. She pursued a double major in Chicano studies and Spanish, with a minor in education. Lopez served as a Bridge tutor during her four years as an undergrad, and will be coordinating Bridge efforts at Harper Junior High.

“My parents work in a tomato packing house; they instilled the importance of education in me,” she said. “My father finished the second grade in Mexico; my mother went to school in California but struggled as an English learner. My parents couldn’t help me very much with homework when I was a student.

“I look at the kids in Davis Bridge and I see myself and my own situation,” Lopez said.

Boulware will be moving into a new phase: “I’m finishing my master’s degree in community development, I’ve been accepted in a doctoral program studying resource centers at schools, and the impact that they make, especially for low-income Latino families. I’ve seen the transformation at Montgomery Elementary since the resource center at the school opened. Such positive things have happened here.”

The resource center — now known as the Center for Families — will continue to provide services to families that have children who get tutoring through Davis Bridge.

“I see the value; low-income families need stability so their children come to school ready to learn,” Boulware said. “And the center is a place where people start to feel a part of the school community, and become empowered to join the PTA. That’s what my thesis is on — what empowers mothers to take the next step.”

Boulware said she wanted to thank Montgomery Principal Sally Plicka and Harper Principal Zena Ingles: “Their support has meant everything to the success of the Bridge program.”

Boulware also extended thanks to past and present Davis Bridge board members: Liz Allen, Luis Miguel, Ronna Reed, Sheila Evens, Rosie Vidales, Grisdelda Castro, Artie Lawyer, Francie Lawyer, John Lescroart, Lisa Sawyer, Liz Malinoff, Lisa Yamauchi, Michael O’Brien, Nancy Peterson, Karin Nieves, Lisceth Cruz, Tim Lien, Chris Bruno and Karen Leaf.

“Over the past 10 years, they have supported Davis Bridge with time, effort and money — we would not be running today without their effort,” Boulware said.

“And I’ve really appreciated our partnership with the school district. I’m looking forward to them really stepping up and continuing to serve Bridge families.”

— Reach Jeff Hudson at jhudson@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8055.

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    No easy task: History buffs still trying to save building

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    DHS musicians back from summer in Italy

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    City to overhaul its sprinkler heads, other water-wasters

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Russian aid convoy reaches war-torn Luhansk

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Davis indecent-exposure suspect pleads no contest

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

    Not-guilty plea entered in Woodland homicide case

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
     
    Parents’ Night Out features Vacation Bible School

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Afternoon tours of city wetlands resume Sept. 6

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Yolo County golf tournament enters fourth year

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Putah Creek Council appoints new executive director

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A3

    Communitywide ice bucket challenge on Sunday

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A3

     
    Prunes take center stage at last agri-tour of the summer

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    In need of food? Apply for CalFresh

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Can you give them a home?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Saylor will meet constituents at Peet’s

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Event will unveil mural celebrating food justice

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Writing couple stops at Davis bookstore

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Explorit: Final Blast show returns for second year

    By Lisa Justice | From Page: A5

     
    Wolk bill would require reporting of water system leaks

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

    Record drought saps California honey production

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

     
    World travelers

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    Seniors set to stroll through Arboretum

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    .

    Forum

    Weightlifters causing a racket

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

    No support for militarization

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    A better use for this vehicle

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Police are our friends, right?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Wage plan has a big flaw

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Bridging the digital divide with computational thinking

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

     
    .

    Sports

     
    Watney and McIlroy struggle at start of The Barclays

    By Wire and staff reports | From Page: B1

    Light-hitting Cats fall

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Giants win nightcap in Chicago

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Watts likes what he’s seen in keen Aggie DB competition

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Sports briefs: Big West soccer coaches have high hopes for UCD men

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8 | Gallery

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

     
    Davis Chinese Film Festival to kick off with 1994 favorite

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    Rock Band campers perform at E Street Plaza

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    Natsoulas to host mural conference

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

    Yolo Mambo to play free show

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    ‘If I Stay’: Existential angst

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11

    .

    Business

    Car Care: Teenagers not driving safe cars, study shows

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    Car Care: Feeling the summer heat? Your car battery is too

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

    Three-wheeled Elio gets closer to going on sale

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A12 | Gallery

     
    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, August 22, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B6