Newsletter surprise

By Children Rising
July 27, 2012

This picture will be back in September. We promise!

You might think that summer is a relaxed time in the Children Rising office. Considering the fury with which we work during the school year, “relaxed” can be a relative term.

So when you get your monthly newsletter for August, please blame a moment of unwinding when you see that we have encroached upon the President’s Corner without our president’s authorization. With Randy briefly out of the office, we couldn’t help but toot his horn since he would never do it himself.

Also in the newsletter is a Family Science Night feature with pictures of West Oakland kids having a blast at Prescott Elementary.

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Summer in Oakland

By Children Rising
July 20, 2012

For schoolchildren around the nation, summer means no school, no homework, and in many cases, no learning. All this contributes to the “summer slide” where kids forget what they have learned during the previous school year. The summer slide is especially steep and slippery for vulnerable children–those with low-income families and those who do not have access to extracurricular activities.

Maybe this summer will be different in Oakland.

At Madison Middle School, 50 students are studying math and science. Thanks to corporate grants and their STEM program, students at 17 Oakland schools have the opportunity to have an enriched summer with hands-on activities that encourage science, technology, engineering and math.

Similarly, Children Rising is also playing a part in trying to keep students at the top of their learning abilities so that they will be ready for the next grade. At Prescott Elementary, Succeeding by Reading (one of Children Rising’s three core programs) is having a summer reading program where kids can come for one-on-one literacy tutoring.

Also, students are having experiences with nature with our summer camp program. A great part of not having school is that kids can go on vacation and have experiential learning. But for students whose parents must work through the year with little to no vacation, the opportunity to go to our free, week-long camp is immense.

Here’s to hoping for not only more summer opportunities for our students we go into our eleventh school year, but also a greater participation from those students and families as those opportunities arise.

A Science Night Preview

By Children Rising
July 12, 2012

Our upcoming newsletter is going to have a large feature on Oakland’s first Family Science Night (FSN) that was put on by Sandia National Laboratories in partnership with Children Rising’s Science Horizons program. Mark and Joanne Perra, lifelong scientists and Children Rising volunteers, authored the article and served a foundational role in making FSN a success.

Attendance surpassed expectations as three schools were invited to join Prescott students in the Prescott auditorium for the event. Scientists had various stations that gave students and their families hands-on experiences with science. Most of their materials were everyday household items such as soda bottles, glue, toothpicks and marshmallows.

Unfortunately, we could not fit all the photos into the newsletter, so I am posting some of the gems here.
Sit tight for the August Children Rising newsletter, which will be published at the beginning of next month!
The following photos are courtesy of Sandia National Laboratories with Dino Vournas as photographer:

Students, parents, and even grandparents came to explore and discover.


 An infrared camera captures the body’s surface temperature.
Students cheer the release of a pressure-propelled bottle rocket.
A lesson in chemical reactions: making goo glue!


A PhD candidate from CAL (right) shares a soda bottle vortex.

We Appreciate Our Teachers

By Children Rising
July 3, 2012

Usually we have a lot to say about our students–we take a lot of joy in celebrating their accomplishments and cheering them on through challenges.

Now it is time to recognize the teachers that put so much effort into their classrooms.

A couple times a year, Children Rising volunteers put together appreciation luncheons for the teachers at a few of the schools we serve. Teachers are free to come and relax during lunch and enjoy a variety of food made by volunteers. It’s a great way to do a little something for teachers at the end of the year without adding on to the time they already spend at school.

Teacher appreciation in action at Burckhalter Elementary


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