Old-fashioned book and fancy iPads

By Children Rising
February 23, 2012

While some organizations are trying to get books into kids’ hands, some schools are improving test scores by introducing iPads to kindergarteners.

It’s always great to see other organizations promoting literacy, and this article explains how Reach Out and Read works in tandem with hospitals in low-income areas. This organization addresses one of the three pillars of literacy: having books readily available to the learning reader. The two others are: learners being surrounded by role models or peers that read and also being supported in their efforts to learn to read.

On the tech front, iPads are improving the literacy test scores of kindergarteners. Though quantitative data is not provided in the article, Time Magazine reports that the iPads helped with one class’ overall standardized testing scores as well as “classroom engagement.”

There is much to be said about solemn condition of our local education with booming technology. While so geographically close, we still seem so far from the forward movement of Silicon Valley.
While we are at the cusp of release of the iPad 3, it will be interesting to see how Apple will continue their forays into classrooms and if there will be some sort of a trickle-down effect to kids that don’t even have access to books made of paper.

West Oakland’s Changing Demographics

By Children Rising
February 15, 2012

With the release of the latest census, we are learning that the number of school-aged children in West Oakland has declined drastically over the years.
Instead, Katy Murphy reports on what seems to be an increase in the hipster population as single people and young couples move to the city while families with children move out. In addition, over half of the students living in West Oakland go to school outside of West Oakland.
The loaded words that come to mind to describe this slow and noticeable exodus are marked with controversy: youth brain drain, gentrification, displacement. Or could this be simple a shift in demographics as various people groups find West Oakland suitable for their needs?
Either way, no schools are closing in West Oakland. Rather, Superintendent Tony Smith wants the schools to emphasize science, technology, engineering, and math to hopefully revitalize the schools.

For more, please click here.

An Emphasis on Poverty

By Children Rising
February 9, 2012

In a somewhat controversial article, Stephen Krashen weighs in on what he considers the most detrimental factor in the US public school system: child poverty.
He emphasizes that schools  need to focus on providing food, healthcare and books to underprivileged children. He also slips in advocacy for a more holistic method of learning: where children can immediately apply lessons rather than waiting until complete mastery.

The article is definitely worth a read, but I do wonder if too much responsibility is being placed on schools. Child poverty comes from low-income families, and it does not seem like a sustainable solution for schools to “defend children against the effects of poverty.”
Please read the article here.

Tutor Training

By Children Rising
February 6, 2012

Interested in spreading literacy and boosting a child’s confidence in reading?
Need a refresher as a tutor?
If so, come to our tutor training this Saturday!

Who:  You! Your investment of an hour or two per week can open the world of learning to a second grader. Reading is the key!

What:  Literacy Specialist Carolyn Piraino will introduce the building blocks of reading and how to guide a child into becoming a successful reader.

When: Saturday, February 11  9:00 – 11:30 am

Where:  Children Rising Office, 2633 Telegraph Avenue, #409, Oakland

RSVP: To sign up for this workshop, call or e-mail Varetta Mayes (510) 836-5100  or

Also please consider volunteering to be a tutor at Downer Elementary in San Pablo. It’s the site of the newest Excel Reading Clinic.

Save the Date!

By Children Rising
February 2, 2012

Children Rising is excited to announce the date and location of our annual Hope for Children NOW banquet fundraiser:

On Sunday, May 20th, there will be dinner, live music, and speakers from the community at the Claremont Hotel.

If you are interested in being a part of the Gala, please call or email the office. Here are some ways you can participate:

  • Sponsor a table
  • Host a table
  • Volunteer at the event
  • Come as a guest

Please stay tuned for more details.

I'm Interested in Volunteering and would like more information