By Sophia Wambach
March 31, 2017

Children Rising’s

Annual Hope for Children Now Benefit Gala

Register Here!

Saturday, June 3, 2017
Scottish Rite Grand Ballroom
Lake Merritt, Oakland

For more information, call the office at 510.836.5100, or email

Register Here!

Back to BLOG posts


By Sophia Wambach
March 31, 2017

Once every month, every student at Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary (MLK) gets a class visit to the STEAM-Coding Lab, which is led by Margena Wade-Green and Michelle Hutcherson, our Director and Assistant Director of Science Horizons. The STEAM-Coding lab allows students to work with hands-on science activities to augment what they’ve learned in their regular science classes. Children Rising volunteers and CareerBridge student interns from McClymonds High School assist with helping students to complete the activities.

MLK_Science_2017_0076On a Tuesday in January, Mr. Henderson’s class arrived at the STEAM-Coding Lab to find seven science stations set up at different tables. It wasn’t long before the classroom was abuzz with delighted children discovering and turning over new ideas.

The table that showcased It’s A Bug’s Life allowed students to examine real insects and plastic replicas using magnifying glasses.

At Money Matters, students took turns roleplaying cashier and customer, utilizing cash counting and math skills while also practicing common courtesy.

Students were challenged to theorize at the Water Conservation station. Why did California have a water shortage? What will happen if we ran out of water? How can we conserve water? On learning that, because of the water cycle, the water we drink is the same water dinosaurs drank many years ago, the students all chorused “Ewwww!” in delighted disgust.

MLK_Science_2017_0215At Computer Coding, students went online to and worked through lessons that are designed to inspire critical thinking in technology.

To learn about building the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge at Build SFOBB, students got to construct a very simple self-anchored suspension bridge.

Can You Hear Me Now? provided students with funnels, tubing, and cups with string to show them how sound travels using vibrations.

And last but definitely not least, students made ice cream the old-fashioned way (shaking cream, sugar, and flavorings in a bag) at the ever-popular We All Scream for Ice Cream! station while they learned about the ice-melting properties of salt. Unsurprisingly, their favorite part was eating the sweet results!

MLK_Science_2017_0377   MLK_Science_2017_0088   MLK_Science_2017_0345

Back to BLOG posts

President’s Corner: Following Students Forward

By Children Rising
March 31, 2017

Looking back on 16 years of outreach to East Bay schools, I find it mind-boggling to think that we’ve had the honor of knowing and supporting thousands of students. Where most of them are today, I wish I knew. In most cases a child comes into one of our programs for a year or two and they move on and we lose contact. But there are those precious few we’ve kept in touch with. I have a sticky note on my desk entitled “Following Students Forward”.  Among those on that list is Jaqui Marquez.

Jaqui Marquez

Jaqui at the 2014 Hope For Children Now benefit gala

We met Jaqui in 2009 when she was an eighth grader at Longfellow Middle School in Berkeley. Thanks to funding from First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley, we were able to establish the Max Martinez Scholarship program at Longfellow to provide educational assistance, mentoring, and college scholarships to students with high academic potential coming from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds. Scholarship recipients would receive a $2,000 award to be held in a savings account and awarded upon having graduated from high school and providing proof of full-time enrollment in college.

In the spring of 2009 Jaqui applied for the competitive scholarship. On the basis of her GPA, recommendations, and personal essay she emerged as one of the finalists. Because of her challenges, resilience and determination, she was selected to receive the scholarship. I’ll not forget Jaqui standing on stage on her eighth grade graduation day and receiving the award presented by the late Max Martinez’s wife, Charlotte.

Jaqui went on to graduate from Berkeley High School. Currently she is a junior at UCLA, majoring in biochemistry. You go, Jaqui!

For the children,


Back to BLOG posts

I'm Interested in Volunteering and would like more information