Posted by Editor: FDBobko
December 9, 2021 
Ann McCormick, Ph.D.
Article by Susan Kealey
Photos by Dianne Bobko
Our speaker was Ann McCormick Ph.D.  Educator, Consultant, Author and Literacy Program Developer. She has worked with fifteen countries on education reform and literacy programs. For a look at some of her younger children’s literacy apps see: Ann lives on Skyline and considers Half Moon Bay to be her hometown and has many friends here. Ann shared a Power Point with us, “What Can We Bring to Children’s Learning Using Technology?”  

Ann founded The Learning Company (TLC) so her software could reach millions of kids instead of waiting for schools to change.  She also helped Leslie Grimm develop "Reader Rabbit".  Organizations including Apple and the  National Science Foundation have awarded her grants. Ann has been awarded Parent’s Choice, Best Software of the Year from Learning Magazine, and other awards.  

Ann found that children could use computer games and applications to learn things like  basic shapes, nature, reading, etc. Now she is designing VR games about clean energy which let children design a clean energy system that transforms how electricity flows in California. It will be aimed at teens, but she hopes it will entice adults as well. In 1983 she helped design "Reader Rabbit" with six colors and 64k of RAM and floppy disks. In 2024 she also worked on "Reader Bee" which has millions of colors, 128 GB of RAM, works with high speed Internet and is on 250 million iPads.

A recent project,, in conjunction with the Woodside Foundation, created a website for kids about the methuselah tree on Skyline. There is also a Facebook page. Other games she’s worked on include Colossal Cave, Atari Adventure, Rocky’s Boots—a real time breakthrough. She’s worked on programs for urban illiterate youth and designed a daisy-type keyboard. 

In summation, the thing that inspires her is that one in three kids won’t learn to read proficiently. She shared her email address with us, She would like to hear from people who would like to collaborate. 

Q & A

Rosi asked if she ever worked with other languages. Ann is now creating schools in other countries and will be working in Spanish. 

Dianne asked what Order she was with. Ann was formerly with Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace. Dianne also wondered why Steve (her collaborator and mentioned in a early slide) didn’t want his girlfriend involved  in the NSF grant. Apparently he thought it would trigger intellectual property issues. They wound up getting a good attorney who preserved the rights for them. They have lost rights several times; it’s an ongoing problem in the field. 

Ann was given a certificate confirming that 15 children were vaccinated against polio in her name. She commented that, when she was growing up, she remembered seeing children with polio and this gift is meaningful to her. 

Club Meeting - December 9 , 2021
President Joe called the meeting to order.
Pledge of Allegiance - Sorry your reporter neglected to jot that down ☹️. Thank you to whomever stepped up. 
Inspirational Thought - Paul, in keeping with the season, quoted from Scrooge asking us to embrace the lesson that bettering mankind is our business.

Guests   Machala Ochoa, Ed.D, is the Vice President of Administrative Services at College of San Mateo. She’s also been a K-12 teacher for many years.


Joe reported that he, Kevin and Liz just finished identifying locations for three more Little Libraries. Next we need to set up a route with volunteers to check on the libraries to ensure they are stocked with books and in good condition. 

Mary advised that our next Coastside Hope delivery is Wednesday. If anyone would like to include something festive this time, we would need eight items. 

Kevin and Rose will deliver meals for Senior Coastsiders filling in for the regular crew.  

Abundant Grace is working on a shift in the way our lunches are managed. The goal is to have the participants manage the process and do the shopping and any preparation. 

Happy/Crappy News yescrying

Cindy Chong, our tax preparer, gave the Club Foundation a $600 in-kind donation—her tax preparation services. 

Paul is participating in an international grant contest. It is a global contest to reimagine education. His entry, the only private/self funded project, focuses on college affordability.   AND…Drumroll…his entry made it to the finals!  A great achievement even though it wasn't one of the winners of the grant funds.  

Pres. Joe's Weekly 'States of the Union Quiz - ​​​​​​​Nevada

This week’s State is Nevada. Originally it was to be called Sierra Nevada, but was shortened. AKA known as the Silver State and Battle Born. It was the 56th State, accepted in 1864 during the Civil War. It was rushed into statehood for two reasons; the Comstock silver discovery—which helped support the war effort and the three additional Electoral College votes it added for Lincoln. 

It is the seventh largest state in area and the 19th least populous state. During the Great Depression legalized gambling and lenient marriage and divorce laws made it a major tourist destination. Prostitution is also legal in some counties. Tourism and mining are the state’s two major economic drivers. Nevada is the fourth largest gold producer and first largest silver producer. Joe advised that we will have a speaker talk about modern mining in the future. 

More facts:  Nevada was used for nuclear ☢️ testing. Eighty percent of the state is owned by the Federal Government—it is inhospitable for homesteading. Las Vegas has 44 million visitors a year and has q50,000 hotel rooms. 

Nevada Stories

Kevin went camping in Death Valley with some college buddies and their car broke down. Fortunately somebody’s dad lent them his AAA card and they were able to get a tow truck. The Sheriff accompanied the truck to give the boys a ride to town (too many to fit in the tow truck). The Sheriff also also assured them that “everything’s legal in Beatty”, lol too bad they were broke college students. Joe added that Beatty has the best equipped high school shop facility because Mercedes Benz uses the area to heat test their vehicles. 

Dianne lived in Nevada for three months shortly after they were married. She got a kick out of watching casino musicians playing classical music at the college on Sunday afternoons in sunglasses, interesting. Does anyone else think Dianne should write a book about all the places she’s lived?  I’ll buy a copy!  

Paul got arrested on suspicion of murder in Nevada. Apparently his blue car matched the description of of a getaway car from California. His friend, Louie, was able to get him out of that jam. 

John had a trampoline meet to attend in Reno. He decided to take the train, unfortunately the last two cars were filled with rowdy drunks, but the scenery was beautiful. 

Marble Game cryingsurprisewink
Kevin won the marble drawing, but drew green (sigh.
Coming Events

Next week’s meeting will be our annual Christmas celebration at the Oddfellows Hall. It will also be our District Governor visit. Guests will be $25. You have to RSVP to Joe if you are coming by Monday Dec. 13. We will be dark December 23 and 30. 

For our first 2022 meeting, January 6, 2022, Paul and Joe are working on making it an in-person meeting at the library. The Oddfellows Hall will be the back up plan if the library isn’t ready.