This Summer, We’re Calling On All #ChampionsForChildren
By Eric Steckel July 28, 2018
This Summer has absolutely blown by! It seems like just yesterday we were celebrating the progress our young readers and math scholars made last year. Now, with the help of our ‘elves,’ we are preparing for another great school year, which begins in just a few short weeks.
Throughout the summer, we have been diligently planning an all-new #ChampionsForChildren Challenge. It’s different than our normal campaigns. We are encouraging all of our champions to help us make a generational difference in our community. And it’s easier than you might think!
#ChampionsForChildren Challenge: Help make a generational impact in our schools!
Right now in Oakland, there are thousands of young children standing precariously at the crossroad of promise and risk. But imagine this: With child-centered tutoring at critical periods in their young lives, struggling students will feel they matter, catch up to grade-level academically, develop hope that they will reach their unique potential in life, and break the cycle of poverty, prison or early death.
Talk about making a generational difference in our community! And all it takes is a caring adult coming alongside a struggling student at the crossroad of promise and risk.
We’re excited to unveil our exciting new #ChampionsForChildren Challenge, but aren’t quite ready yet. Stay tuned.
We hope that you will join us in making a making a generational difference in our community, one student at a time!
Reading Tutor Training
By Pearl July 10, 2018
Saturday, September 8, 9:00 – 11:30am
Volunteer Tutors: Changing the Trajectory of Thousands of Lives – and a Community – At the Crossroads
By Jim Wambach July 10, 2018
Perspectives article by Jim Wambach, Executive Director
This year’s Hope for Children Now Gala was a wonderful celebration. It was an opportunity to unite our Children Rising community, applaud the progress made by our children and youth, acknowledge the dedication of our volunteer tutors and mentors, and remind each other of the journey ahead. Two key thoughts emerged from the evening…
There is an urgent,time-sensitive need to help our children who are at the crossroad of promise and risk. Of the 4,000 Oakland Unified School District children in the second grade this year, it’s estimated that 1,800 will complete third grade next year while testing substantially below their grade level in reading and/or math.
Your support has helped struggling children like Itzayana read at grade level. More volunteer tutors are needed to help the many students still in need of reading and math tutoring.
Once these children fall behind, it becomes increasingly difficult, and often impossible, for them to catch up in future grades. This begins a very predictable cycle where these children become increasingly frustrated, lose self-confidence, and can eventually drop out of school, join gangs, or end up in prison. Oakland Unified School District experiences a high school dropout rate almost 400% higher than San Jose Unified and San Francisco Unified!
The good news is that it’s not only possible, but also relatively simple to change all of this. A volunteer tutor can help a struggling second-grader achieve grade-level skills in reading or math and energize a renewed self-confidence and love of learning. This child is likely to consistently progress not only in reading and math, but also in all other subjects taught each successive year of their primary education.
However, we have to help these children NOW, during their early years in elementary school when they are already at a major crossroad of life. Each second-grader that is NOT helped is at high risk of becoming another statistic of failure in future years.
Nathan received mentoring and support at a crucial time in his life. In the fall he will enroll in community college thanks, in part, to a scholarship from Children Rising.
Oakland and the East Bay are full of people like you with amazing spirit. This newsletter reaches over 900 individuals. If each of you encouraged one of your friends or colleagues to volunteer, there could be an additional 900 tutors! That’s 900 additional volunteer tutors and mentors who will provide life-changing tutoring and support to an additional 1,800 children!
Please help us spread the word about how each person in the community can, with a small investment of time and love, substantially change the life of a child.
It starts right here, with you and me. I hope you will continue to help us change the trajectory of thousands of lives – and a community – at the crossroads.
Children Rising’s annual Hope for Children Now Benefit Gala took place on June 9, 2018 at the Scottish Rite Center in Oakland.
CareerBridge’s scholarship winners took center stage to be recognized for their exceptional performance in school and internships. Amber Johnson, Albert Mitchell, Garyon’tae Smith, and Haifa Algabri each received a $5,000 Eddie College Scholarship. True to form, Program Director Margena Wade-Green and Ahlsten Foundation’s Melissa Arciniega had some surprises up their sleeves – including ongoing support for our scholarship recipients, new laptops, and one additional scholarship for CareerBridge student Nathan Talavera. We are incredibly proud of all of the scholarship winners and their hard work.
Amber Johnson, Albert Mitchell, Garyon’tae Smith, and Haifa Algabri each received a $5,000 Eddie College Scholarship, and CareerBridge student Nathan Talavera received a special scholarship for his achievements at Ralph J. Bunche Academy.
Riana Shaw Robinson, Minister of City Engagement at Oakland City Church, opened the gala this year with a stirring invocation. Author and former OUSD teacher Bronwyn Harris presented an inspiring keynote address which included stories from her classroom in East Oakland and the ways in which Children Rising benefitted her students. Bronwyn commended our faithful volunteers and encouraged more to step forward, highlighting the positive influence a tutor can have in the life of a student.
The program this year included a live auction and a Fund-A-Need Paddle Raise. One of our Succeeding by Reading tutors, Jim MacIlvaine, served as our auctioneer and master of ceremonies. The auction and paddle raise gave each attendee a fun way to interact with the program and offer financial support.
We also heard a heartfelt testimony from former CareerBridge student and intern Karyn Lee and her mother Marjorie, who we’ve written about recently. It was a wonderful reminder of what hard work, dedication, a mother’s love and the support from community means to a struggling student.
Your mentorship and support helps youth like Karyn Lee navigate the difficult transition from school to career.
Thanks to all of your generous donations, we are pleased to report that we met and exceeded our fundraising goal of $110,000. We are grateful to each of you for your support!
Special thanks to our corporate sponsors: Pacific Galvanizing, Union Bank, PwC, Ahlsten Foundation, City National Bank, Kaiser Permanente, and Visit Oakland. To our incredible team of gala volunteers: Thank you! This event could not have been successful without you.
And our closing thought: You can help us spread the word about how each person in the community can, with a small investment of time and love, substantially change the life of a child.