Mayra Reyes: From Shafter to Berkeley by Lizeth Carrillo

Congratulations to fellow Shafter Education Partnership tutor Mayra Reyes!

The Shafter Learning Center wishes you the best in all of your future endeavours!


See below for a partial piece on Mayra written by Emma Goss from Eyewitness News on June 8, 2018.


This fall, Mayra Reyes is moving from the fields of Shafter to the fields of science and engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, but it wasn't simply academic achievement that got her there.

At age 17, Reyes and her family immigrated from Mexico to Shafter, and Reyes faced culture shock and a language barrier.

"It was hard because I didn't know any English. I didn't know how to write, how to speak English."

She picked it up rather quickly, and Reyes, now 22, recently graduated in the top of her class from Taft College with degrees in mathematics and engineering.

She now has a full ride to UC Berkeley's civil engineering program.


For full article click here:

Mock SAT in May by Lizeth Carrillo

A great SAT can open doors and win scholarships. Taking the Mock SAT at the Learning Center can help you get there. MSAT will quickly tell you what you need to practice to do your best.
No fees. No waivers. No waiting.

Mock in May so you can master the SAT.
May 19, 2018

Snacks and pizza provided!

Sign up early to get a special commemorative T-shirt!

Name *
Phone *
T-shirt guaranteed only for the first 45 registrations.

New Course at the Learning Center! / ¡Nueva Clase en el Centro de Aprendizaje! by Lizeth Carrillo

Students are invited to join us during Scholar Hour to participate in fun, interactive activities that help strengthen their independent and cooperative learning skills.  On Tuesdays and Thursdays students will work with Mr. Ruby to complete non-math homework and discover new ways to make learning fun.  On Mondays and Wednesdays students will work with Kern County Library staff on academically enriching activities like chess, mancala, and other games that incorporate math, literature, art and science.

Estudiantes están invitados a nuestra Hora Académica para participar en actividades que son divertidas e interactivas y ayudaran con su aprendizaje. En los Martes y Jueves, los estudiantes trabajaran con Mr. Ruby para completar tarea no relacionada a matemáticas y descubrir nuevas maneras para aprender con diversión. Los Lunes y Miércoles estudiantes trabajaran con los empleados de la Biblioteca de Kern County en actividades académicamente enriquecedoras  como por ejemplo ajedrez, mancala y otros juegos que incorporan matemáticas, literatura, arte y ciencia.

The Shafter Learning Center: A Parent Perspective by Amerika Nino-Rodriguez

As a parent, the after-school opportunities for kids today can be overwhelming. Do we stay in town or drive 20 minutes to the larger neighboring city with seemingly larger opportunities? Do we pay for expensive lessons or go with more economical options? And then, most importantly, what kind of environment should our kids learn in? Do we value success and trophies or skills and character?

In our family, we have tried to simplify the process of choosing with three key questions:

1.   Is it local? We love Shafter and want to support local options whenever possible.

2.   Is it affordable? We want to save money, but also value being in programs that are open to families across the financial spectrum.

3.   Does it encourage a growth mindset? We want our kids, and the kids in our community, to learn that growth is possible and that it’s ok to take risks, even if you fail. Mistakes happen when you try hard things.

Thankfully, there is a local option that meets each of these criteria! The Shafter Learning Center (SLC) is one of the best after-school opportunities around. The fact that our Shafter kids have a local option, within walking distance for many, to learn and grow after school is thrilling. The course offerings are interesting, the atmosphere is inviting, and the place is fun to be in. Courses are only $5! This space is quickly becoming one of our greatest city assets.

The fact that the Shafter Learning Center is both local and affordable is reason enough to support it, but what sets it apart is the emphasis on growth. The Shafter Learning Center encourages kids to take risks--even if they fail! As kids take classes they are encouraged to try new things and as they do, their mistakes are viewed through the lens of growth, not failure. This growth mindset culture is what most attracts our family to the Learning Center. Our kids are being taught how to challenge themselves and are celebrated in the process. The potential of each child who walks through their doors is valued.

The Shafter Learning Center is reframing the after-school activity conundrum.

Engaged kids, happy parents, educated community. Win-win-win.


Katie Wiebe

Shafter Parent & Resident

Learning Center Instructor



Failure...A Speed Bump, Not a Stop Sign by Melissa Bergen by Amerika Nino-Rodriguez

I walked into my Bakersfield College Introduction to Writing course, my first semester of college in the Fall of 2000.  We were going to get our first papers back in this class period.  I had done well in high school writing courses.  I was looking forward to getting my first official “good grade” in college.

Papers were handed back to us and I can still remember that grade in red ink.


So many thoughts instantly started spinning in my head:

“What?! D?!”

“I am going to fail college.”

“If I can’t write a paper, how am I going to pass this class.”

“If I can’t pass this class, how am I going to reach my goals of transferring out of BC and finishing college?”

I tried to quiet all the thoughts and tune back into class as my professor was addressing the class.

“The majority of you did not pass this assignment.  That’s normal.  There’s a lot to learn about college level writing.  We will work at this together, and please, if you got a grade that you did not expect, I want to help you.  Come see me after class or during office hours.”

As class ended that day, I had two thoughts--I could go run and hide, disappointed in myself and ashamed of my D or I could listen to my professor and ask for help.  I remember taking a full minute once class was dismissed thinking about my options, watching others students either leave the class or stop to ask for help from the professor.  The line to speak to the professor was actually blocking my way out of the classroom.  I decided to stay in my seat and listen.  Other students were saying the same things that had been spinning in my head moments ago.  Knowing that I was not alone gave me the strength to ask for help.  I joined the line of students waiting to speak with the professor.

My first reaction when I saw that “D” was that I was a failure.  Asking for help was incredibly difficult. My hands were shaking as I held my paper out to my professor.  My voice was shaking too.  And, I was trying to hold back tears as I told a complete stranger, my professor, that I failed.

I spoke to the professor that day and a number of other times that semester, after class and during her office hours.  I worked hard.  I took every bit of advice the professor gave me.

I did struggle through some courses and obtained some grades that were not ideal; however, the big picture is that I did not "fail" at college. I met challenges but I learned to work through them. The shock of seeing "D's" and "F's" made me feel like I was a failure. The reality is that I just needed to work through those challenges to ensure that I succeeded in college. I needed to ask for help and work hard.

For some of us the challenges of college work may mean spending a little more time at the library or with our professors and for others it may mean changing course of study.  I think the real failure would have been giving up on my dream of obtaining my college degree.

I graduated from Fresno Pacific University in 2004 with a 3.2 GPA.

I started school again last Fall to pursue a Master’s degree in Community Leadership and Transformation and I still ask for help from my professors and spend lots of time working hard in the library.

Melissa Bergen
Pastor, Iglesia Compañerismo Cristiano
Local Missions Director, Shafter Mennonite Brethren Church
Master’s Graduate Student, Fresno Pacific University
Born and raised in Shafter

Top 5 Mathletes of the Week by Karlene Hernandez

Check back regularly to see who has mastered the most skills on Khan Academy

1st    David Diaz (22)*

2nd  Elizabeth Garcia  (16)*

3rd  Benito Martinez (11)*

4th  Dulce Calderon (7)*

5th  Alexa Flores (6)*


Earn your way to the top! Click here to find out how.

*indicates number of skills mastered