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Summer Math, Science at UCR

Middle School Programs This Summer at UC Riverside

ALPHA Center's Healthy Bodies-Healthy Minds and GEMS Keeps Minds Sharp, Bodies Fit

(April 12, 2004)

Dr. Pamela Clute Leading a GEMS session in 2003

Dr. Pamela Clute Leading a GEMS session in 2003

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — — The ALPHA Center at the University of California, Riverside is accepting applications for two programs designed to keep middle schoolers’ minds sharp in science and mathematics and their bodies fit over the summer break. May 7 is the deadline to apply to Healthy Bodies-Healthy Minds or to GEMS — weeklong programs offered at the Student Recreation Center on the UC Riverside campus July 19 through July 23. Children may apply for only one of the programs. Parents or guardians are responsible for transportation to and from the programs. For more details, call Linda Rankin at the ALPHA Center at (909) 787-5425 or visit the ALPHA Center Web site.

Healthy Bodies-Healthy Minds is for boys and girls who are entering 7th or 8th grade. The program’s goal is to stimulate awareness and self-exploration through activities that are engaging, motivational, and enlightening and challenging to the body and mind. It is designed to help participants develop into well-rounded individuals by balancing the roles of health education, fitness, nutrition and a positive mental attitude. Participants will learn about mathematics as it relates to health, physical education as it relates to a healthy lifestyle, self-motivation and character development.

The Healthy Body-Healthy Mind program also offers a spinal screening and health awareness presentation by staff members from the Children’s Spine Foundation, established by Dr. Thomas Haider, an assistant clinical professor in the UC Riverside Biomedical program.

Students interested in participating in the program must complete an application packet, which includes a teacher recommendation form as well as a parent/guardian permission slip.

GEMS (Girls Excelling in Mathematics with Success) is designed specifically for girls entering 7th or 8th grade. The goal of the program is to empower girls in middle school with knowledge about mathematics, community service, as well as knowledge about mentoring and supporting one another. The focus of the course will be on mathematics as it relates to college and to business, and is presented in a stimulating environment so that mathematics is seen as interesting and relevant to their lives.

Participants in both programs will receive books, materials, and supplies intended to enhance their learning and retention of mathematical ideas. Students will also be provided with UC Riverside memorabilia such as tote bags, T-shirts and necklaces.

To participate in GEMS, parents or guardians must sign consent forms and obtain a teacher’s recommendation.

The ALPHA Center was established in 1998 to increase the historically low rate of college-qualified high school graduates from inland Southern California, and to ensure their success once enrolled. At the time, one in three inland Southern California high school students qualified for college, well below the 60 percent statewide and 65 percent national averages. ALPHA Center staff answer this need by creating programs, which prepare students to enter or excel in college. The center staff also trains teachers to more completely master their subjects, and researches how students learn to determine which teaching methods are most effective.

Student and teacher-based ALPHA programs have reached about 84,000 students, 6,700 teachers and 400 administrators. Research has helped ALPHA staff develop 15 programs that have reached more than 150 school sites in Riverside, San Bernardino and eastern Los Angeles counties.


The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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