“Roses In Concrete” – Our Response to COVID-19

By Jim Wambach | March 20, 2020

Caring for the children in our community

Dear Friends,

As we all navigate the challenges and stress of this uncertain time, our hearts go out to the vulnerable members of our community most affected by the global health crisis. We pray for those who have fallen ill. We humbly thank the brave front-line caregivers who are doing their utmost to contain the threat and keep us safe.

Over the past several days, the entire Children Rising team has embraced a poem that speaks to the work we are doing in our urban public schools.

All our children are precious "Roses in Concrete"

“The Rose That Grew from Concrete”

Did you hear about the rose that grew
from a crack in the concrete?
Proving nature’s law is wrong it
learned to walk without having feet.
Funny it seems, but by keeping its dreams,
it learned to breathe fresh air.
Long live the rose that grew from concrete
when no one else ever cared.

— Tupac Shakur —

Each one of the precious children we serve is a “rose that grew from concrete.” But there’s an important difference – we care for each and every one of those children. Our tutors, our clinic coordinators, our program directors, all of us at Children Rising care desperately for the children in our community who are falling further and further behind, each and every day.

I’ve always tried to look at challenges as wonderful opportunities to innovate for growth and ways to become better and stronger. We certainly face that challenge now, and I am certain we will come through all of this better, stronger, and most importantly, capable of watering many more “roses in concrete”.

Path2Math student and tutor celebrate with a fist bump.

Your support now, even as we practice social distancing, will help us enhance our ability to empower many more children when they return to the classroom.

Many of you have been looking forward to our Annual Hope For Children Now Gala, an important gathering of our community for the children. We have made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s gala, which was to be held once again at the Oakland Rotunda. Instead, we are planning a very special online event on May 16th, 2020. So please continue to save the date, and stay tuned for details.

Just last month, as the coronavirus crisis began to intensify, we were celebrating the growth and milestones we achieved together for the kids. We opened our 30th tutoring clinic at Grass Valley Elementary School. Our new name, Children Rising, was taking hold, better articulating who we are and whom we serve. And we looked forward to helping many more vulnerable children reach grade level in reading and math this year.

Now, while school is disrupted and our tutors are sidelined, the education crisis we are facing will only intensify. We are focusing all of our energy on enhancing our ability to empower many more children when they return to the classroom.

  • COVID-19 Crisis Funding – Unfortunately, our income was already below budget. We have implemented a short-term campaign to overcome the additional financial hurdles the COVID-19 crisis will present to our programs to help us through this difficult period.

  • Program Development – Our program directors and clinic coordinators are using this time to further develop our curriculum and materials. We are also developing online training for staff and volunteer tutors. We will come out of this period better able to empower the children to reach their God-given potential.

  • Building Future Capacity – Even before this crisis struck, there were many more schools in need of one-on-one tutoring in math and reading. We will use this time to introduce tutoring to larger numbers of the community and develop a pipeline of interested, caring adults so we can recruit and train many more tutors. When the children come back to school, there will be a caring adult waiting to help them!

We want you to know how important your support of Children Rising is during this period. When the children return to school after missing many weeks of vital instruction, they will be further behind than ever. Children Rising stands poised to step in and help them when that time comes.

Please make a one-time contribution to our COVID-19 Crisis Funding Campaign. You may also consider pledging a monthly online contribution. This is the single best way to help us financially prepare for difficult periods like the one we currently face.

Please CLICK HERE to make a contribution to our COVID-19 Crisis Funding Campaign

Your gifts, whether online or through traditional mail, are accepted in a safe and secure process. However, our ability to respond quickly in acknowledging your contribution will very likely be impacted. We are committed to following state guidelines to shelter at home. So, at this time, we would encourage you to use our online donation form when making a gift. We will continue to process gifts sent by mail, but we ask for your patience in receiving a gift acknowledgement as we work through this period.

Finally, I want to share that over the course of the week, I have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of care and concern for the vulnerable children we come alongside. We miss those kids, and can’t wait to get back. Until that time comes, we will do our best to be more prepared than ever.

Be well, and please continue to look for communications from us throughout this period.

For the Children,


YES, I CAN help a vulnerable child when they return to the classroom.

 I want to learn more about reading or math clinics to see if tutoring is right for me!

 I want help fund Children Rising to empower many more children when they return to the classroom!

Subscribe to our newsletter

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.