An Impromptu Civics Lesson

By Children Rising
February 3, 2016

by Leila Gough, volunteer literacy tutor for Succeeding by Reading

Leila Gough

An absolutely wonderful thing happened today…
I tutor at Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary in West
Oakland. My usual student was out sick so I worked with
another student who had come from Yemen. He told me that he could recognize an Arab without even hearing him talk. But he was very confused about the fact that my name is Arabic when I don’t look Arabic at all.

We were reading a book entitled Red, White and Blue with a huge American flag on the cover. We progressed on through RED (apples) and then onto WHITE (White House). I asked if he knew who lived there; my student said no. I told him that the President of the United States lived there and that his name is Obama. Then I wrote out “Obama” so that he could read it. He was intrigued and asked me if Obama was in charge of jobs. I almost fell off my chair. I said yes and he smiled. He also asked if the President would be President forever. No, only until next January when we get a new President.

Loved teaching my little civics lesson today! And loved teaching a child a little
about America. Yea tutoring! Yea Children Rising!


President’s Corner

By Children Rising
February 3, 2016

“It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. It was the season of hope. It was the season of despair.” That’s how Charles Dickens began his book, A Tale of Two Cities.

These contrasting, contradictory views could describe our present era. Most of us are living far better than we ever imagined. We have nice homes, plenty of food, a decent education and gainful employment.

At the same time our world is plagued by deep divisions and horrific violence, causing thousands of adults and children to flee from their homes in a desperate search for safe haven. Right here at home in the Bay Area, the gap between the haves and have-nots is ever-widening. Homeless encampments in the East Bay are becoming ubiquitous. While high-tech companies are growing and on the search for new hires, the achievement gap between poor and middle-class students persists.

Each of us has a choice. We can choose to wring our hands or we can use
them to reach out to our most vulnerable neighbors. Fifteen years ago Faith
Network was founded in answer to God’s call to “Seek the shalom of the city”
(Jeremiah 29:7). Shalom encompasses all of these things: peace, prosperity,
health, wholeness. We’re responding to God’s call by bringing caring adults and
community resources into the schools to address children’s unmet needs.
On behalf of Children Rising’s Board of Directors and Staff, we express deep
gratitude for our dedicated and generous volunteers, donors, partners and the
inspiring young people who are the reason for our existence.

Miscellaneous News

By Children Rising
February 3, 2016

Save the Date
Children Rising’s annual Hope for Children Now Gala will take place on June 4, 2016 at the Scottish Rite Center at Lake Merritt, Oakland. Please mark this on your calendar! More details to follow.

Hour of Code
One of the schools that Children Rising serves, Roosevelt Middle School, received a visit from three White House top technology officials on January 4, 2016. The visit was part of Computer Science Education Week and the Hour of Code. Click here to read about the vista on

Literacy Tutor Training
Tuesday, February 16
3:00-5:30 pm
at Children Rising office
RSVP Rebecca Buckley,

Fun with Food for Families in Need

By Children Rising
February 3, 2016

by Charlotte Martinez, director of Health4Kids

Motown music fills the bustling warehouse. At his end of the assembly line,
Wayne keeps all the volunteers laughing. At the other end, Mary swings to the

Assembly line

vibrant music while double-knotting a thousand-plus bags so that Duane and Paul, or Nikki and Bill, can load them into bins labeled by school. Judah checks that bags are properly filled by weighing them, swapping out bins when the loaders are ready for the next round. Cindy and Arthur break down hundreds of boxes for recycling, while Lloyd and Anthony keep the baggers’ tables organized and stocked with food.

Volunteers from the Oakland Worship Center

All along the assembly line, twenty volunteers pack bags full of good nutritious food provided by Alameda County Community Food Bank. If you walk along the line, you’ll hear laughing and chatting as bags are carefully loaded with precise amounts of beans, rice, oatmeal, milk, and low-sodium cans of fruits, vegetables or chicken. All this activity is done for the joy of knowing that 1200 families in Oakland will receive bags of greatly-appreciated food to add to their pantries so that their kids, whose main meal of the day is often the school-provided lunch, will have sustenance over the weekends.

Words cannot express my love and gratitude for our faithful volunteers.

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