Blog

Children Rising Receives $10,000 Grant from Clorox Company Foundation

By Chelsea
July 15, 2021

Local corporation supports children in Oakland’s under-resourced neighborhood schools

Children Rising receives grant from Clorox Company Foundation

Support from amazing local corporations like the Clorox Company Foundation enables children and youth in our community to rise above their challenges to reach their God-given potential.

This past month, The Clorox Company Foundation awarded Children Rising a $10,000 grant to support our proven one-on-one interventional literacy and math tutoring programs. We are so honored and thankful to have once again received this funding. Support from amazing local corporations and foundations enables children and youth in our community to rise above their challenges to reach their God-given potential.

The Clorox Company Foundation, founded in 1980, has a mission to foster healthy and inclusive communities so people can be well and thrive. Since its inception, the foundation has awarded cash grants totaling nearly $130 million to nonprofit organizations, including annual grants to Children Rising since 2006.

Youth Development and Education

Grant consideration prioritizes organizations and programs that “provide differentiated and personalized interventions for young people that address persistent barriers to opportunity and are responsive to unique challenges faced by young people in their local communities. Education grants will focus on decreasing the achievement gaps in literacy and STEM for capable young people who deserve to learn, but who face multiple obstacles.”

Path2Math student makes progress in the classroom

Your gifts ensure that every struggling child is reached by a caring community at a critical time in their life to nurture hope, the courage to dream, and the opportunity to thrive. Thank you!

“Local corporation supports children in Oakland’s under-resourced neighborhood school“Education grants will focus on decreasing the achievement gaps in literacy and STEM for capable young people who deserve to learn, but who face multiple obstacles.”

Our Succeeding by Reading and Path2Math tutoring programs align well with those youth development and education goals. And our focus on neighborhood schools most impacted by poverty, violence, and educational inequity nurtures children who typically face multiple obstacles to education.

Thank you to The Clorox Company Foundation for your ongoing support of children and youth in the Oakland community. Your support is helping to build bridges to a better future.

YES, I CAN empower a child to build bridges to a better future!

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

I want to help fund Children Rising tutoring and mentoring programs to empower more children this year!

Perspectives – Bridging Digital Divide Provides Online Tutoring Opportunity for All

By Jim Wambach
July 13, 2021

“The Internet is not a luxury, it is a necessity.” – President Barack Obama

Jim Wambach - Executive DirectorOver the last six months, Children Rising has launched online versions of our proven reading and math tutoring clinics. This greatly enhances our ability to support elementary school children who have fallen even further behind in their reading and math abilities due to the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

None of this would have been possible without the amazing progress the community has made in bridging the digital divide.

“With a levelling of the playing field in access to technology, we see a profound opportunity for community partners to take the Oakland community a step closer to the day when every child can have access to a tutor, regardless of their family’s financial resources.”

The Oakland Undivided Campaign, a partnership between the Mayor’s office of education, Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) the Oakland Public Education Fund, and Tech Exchange, made dramatic strides toward ensuring that every student in Oakland has access to a computer and the internet. It was a herculean effort with wide-ranging benefits for children, youth, and families who struggled to keep up with technology requirements of 21st century education. And it was long overdue!

Your support helped close the digital divide and ensures that children struggling in reading and math are no longer excluded by lack of technology or financial resources.

With a leveling of the playing field in access to technology, we see a profound opportunity for community partners to take the Oakland community a step closer to the day when every child can have access to a tutor, regardless of their family’s financial resources. Children Rising’s online tutoring provides opportunities for many more caring adults throughout the Bay Area to tutor a struggling child, all from the comfort of their home or office. And with additional tutors, we can come alongside many more students struggling in reading or math.

The online functionality is an enhancement of the proven Succeeding by Reading and Path2Math tutoring programs. Students in need of additional instruction will now be able to receive tutoring outside of school hours and throughout the summer. In addition, the ability to support parents in coaching their child, as well as provide access to educational tools, is a significant program enrichment.

Trained, caring tutors are key to empowering children to rise to their God-given potential. We can’t wait to get back to in-person tutoring, but now our amazing tutors are available online as well. We recognized this unique opportunity so that when students do return to the classroom, we will be better prepared to support and empower many more children, their families, and our school partners.

YES, I CAN empower a child to build bridges to a better future!

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

I want to help fund Children Rising tutoring and mentoring programs to empower more children this year!

Nakoa Continues His Progress in Math

By Eric Steckel
July 9, 2021

Summer tutoring sessions should get him back to grade level

Over the course of the school year, we have been monitoring and sharing the progress of Nakoa*, one of our eager Path2Math students.

Online Summer Tutoring

Nakoa has made significant progress this year. Through summer tutoring sessions, he should be able to reach grade level in math going into fourth grade.

Nakoa first enrolled in Path2Math as a second-grader in the 2019-2020 school year. He had been making significant progress in his math skills, and was on course to get back to grade level. When schools closed last March due to COVID-19, Nakoa, like so many students, began to struggle. Despite the best efforts by our dedicated teachers and principals, distance learning was not an adequate substitute for in-school instruction. Ms. Cheryl, his grandmother, was alarmed when Nakoa began to fall further behind once again.

Fortunately for Nakoa, he has a loving caregiver who advocated for his education. Ms. Cheryl reached out to Children Rising.

“I didn’t want him to fall behind,” she explained. “I’m a grandma, I’m not a teacher, so I was really worried that I wouldn’t be able to give him what he needed to sustain his level of learning.”

“The online tutoring has allowed us to adapt to the student’s need on a more individual level.” — Reto Peter, Path2Math Tutor

In October, Nakoa was re-enrolled as a third-grader in Path2Math Anywhere, our newly-developed online tutoring program. Since then, he has been working with Mr. Reto, one of our experienced math tutors, once a week for 45 minutes. Despite some absences and hiccups along the way, Nakoa’s progress has been steady and consistent.

Nakoa and Ms. Cheryl - Summer tutoring

Ms. Cheryl is happy that Nakoa is receiving summer tutoring and hopes that her grandson will get back to grade level in math going into the fourth grade.

“The online tutoring has allowed us to adapt to the student’s need on a more individual level,” Mr. Reto told us. “However, with everything that’s going on in their house, and their home and their environment, it can be challenging sometimes. But, because their regular teachers just can’t give them the individual attention they need, we as tutors can do that, even if it’s just an hour a week.”

In that time, Nakoa has mastered 40 skills in all, including 22 skills in Level E (third grade) and three skills in Level F (fourth grade). That puts his overall math level at 340, which is squarely between third- and fourth-grade level. Our goal is to get Nakoa’s math level to 400, which is where he needs to be going into fourth-grade math.

The good news is that because of the expansion of our online tutoring program, Nakoa will continue to work with Mr. Reto through summer tutoring sessions. Although Nakoa’s attendance and effort is key to reaching his goals, Mr. Reto is confident.

“He’s ready to work when we get online. He loves when we do speed flash cards, and he’s been showing some interest in geometry, so it’s been fun, it’s been great.”

We are so pleased with Nakoa’s hard work and look forward to reporting on Nakoa’s progress going into fourth grade.

* Names changed to protect the identity of the students

YES, I CAN empower a child to build bridges to a better future!

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

I want to help fund Children Rising tutoring and mentoring programs to empower more children this year!

Carlos Gets a Boost From Online Tutor

By Eric Steckel
July 6, 2021

Eager student overcoming COVID-related learning loss with online tutor

Your support of Children Rising programs helped Carlos recover from loss of learning caused by the closing of schools last March.

Carlos has a smile and infectious personality that lights up a Zoom meeting room. He is an eager second-grader who enjoys learning. However, Carlos has struggled with distance learning since schools closed last March. To help overcome his learning loss, teachers enrolled him in Succeeding by Reading Anywhere, the online version of our proven reading tutoring program.

“When I was first reaching out to Carlos’s family to arrange for pre-testing, Carlos’s mother told me that she knew that her son needed help with reading. But she didn’t know how to help him. She didn’t know what to do to help him develop reading skills,” explained Rebecca Buckley, Director of Succeeding by Reading.

A literacy diagnostic indicated that Carlos was indeed significantly behind grade-level reading for a second-grader. He began working with reading tutor Anne Yamada midway through the school year and quickly won her over.

“He has a positive outlook. He doesn’t hesitate to seize the moment and celebrate when he’s learning something new.” Anne told us. “I hear him laughing and giggling, and that is just a wonderful thing to experience with him.”

The Succeeding by Reading program starts by working with a child based on the skills they already know. This creates a solid foundation and builds confidence in themselves. We then start adding new skills, little by little. Despite working with a tutor for less than half of the school year, Carlos has made significant gains.

“I also feel that it’s one of the most meaningful ways that you can spend 55 minutes of your week — helping a child with reading and changing a life.” – Anne Yamada, Succeeding by Reading online tutor

Online tutors like Anne are helping students overcome learning loss and get back to grade level.

“He’s increased his sight word vocabulary by 95 words.” Anne was happy to report. “We’ve read through five levels of books and have progressed to the next learning tier. His comprehension is really starting to take hold in that he reads with expression, he self-corrects, and he’s enjoying the storyline so much more.”

Although the 2020-2021 school year has ended and Carlos is still significantly behind grade-level reading, this determined lad’s journey with us isn’t finished yet. Because of our development of online tutoring, we can work with students outside of the normal school calendar, and train and place more caring tutors for the upcoming year. That means Carlos will continue his tutoring twice a week during the summer and can reenroll in Succeeding by Reading in the third grade.

“I think it’s just amazing and remarkable that Children Rising was able to pivot so quickly and design this wonderful online program that enables regular people like me to tutor the children,” Anne said. “I also feel that it’s one of the most meaningful ways that you can spend 55 minutes of your week — helping a child with reading and changing a life.”

With hard work and the extra support from a caring tutor, Carlos should overcome the learning loss he has experienced and reach grade-level reading next year. That transformative experience will be a springboard for him to reach his God-given potential in elementary school, middle school, and beyond.

* Names changed to protect the identity of the students

 

YES, I CAN empower a child to build bridges to a better future!

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

I want to help fund Children Rising tutoring and mentoring programs to empower more children this year!

Happy Fourth of July

By Jim Wambach
July 3, 2021

Happy Fourth of July*

We wish everyone a very happy Independence Day. As we celebrate this Fourth of July weekend, we are reminded of the freedoms we enjoy as Americans, and honor the sacrifices made by our founding fathers. We are truly blessed to live in a free and democratic country.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” — Declaration of Independence

As we reflect upon those words, we can acknowledge that 245 years since the signing of the Declaration of Independence, we have work to do. We imagine a day when all Americans enjoy the same freedoms, equality, racial justice, and educational equity, regardless of the color of their skin or their place of birth.

As you celebrate this weekend, we hope you will take a moment to reflect on the freedoms we share, and the freedoms we may extend to all Americans.

 

* Photo courtesy of Andrew Calhoun @uptownjazznet

Perspectives – Oakland Undivided Forever Maintains Path Toward Closing Digital Divide, Achieving Educational Equity

By Jim Wambach
July 1, 2021

Access to Technology ensures that all children in Oakland have a fair and equitable chance to succeed in school

Your support of Children Rising and Oakland Undivided is closing the digital divide and laying the groundwork for lasting educational equity.

On June 30th, Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) and its Oakland Undivided partners announced the celebration and expansion of their vision for closing the digital divide and achieving lasting educational equity. Children Rising could not be more delighted with this fantastic news.

The Oakland Undivided Campaign, a partnership between the Mayor’s office of education, Oakland Unified School District (OUSD), the Oakland Public Education Fund, and Tech Exchange, made dramatic strides toward closing the digital divide over the past year. With the announcement of Oakland Undivided FOREVER, this groundbreaking program will be extended long into the future.

This is an important development for our community schools!

Access to technology not only closes the digital divide. It ensures that all children in Oakland have a fair and equitable chance to succeed in school and reach their God-given potential in life.

“Lack of technology and internet access is an equity issue across the country, and Oakland shows us that a solution is not only within reach, but that it can happen very quickly.” — Cindy Marten, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education

It also lays the groundwork for nonprofits to provide expanded enrichment programs for students in need of additional academic support. Just last month, Children Rising announced the launch of free online math and reading tutoring to boost the COVID recovery for elementary school children. Online tutoring is only made possible through student access to technology and the closing of the digital divide that has hampered so many students from low-income backgrounds.

We applaud the efforts of our community leaders in making this public-private partnership a reality.

“In order to achieve equity in education, we must guarantee that all students have the tools they need to succeed,” said OUSD Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell. “Let’s face it, in the 21st century if you don’t have a computer and internet connectivity, you are at a serious disadvantage because you cannot do your work remotely, and worse, you can’t access the world of information that exists on the web. We must ensure that all Oakland students have the same ability to access their education as their peers here and across the country.”

Oakland Undivided raised more than $12.5 million and distributed more than 29,000 computers and 10,000 internet hot spots to students in need to keep at home, along with accessible culturally competent tech support for all. In less than a year.

This is a momentous announcement and one that the entire Oakland community should be proud of. Indeed, our national leaders have taken notice as well.

“What Oakland is doing for their students and families in closing the digital divide is remarkable,” said U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education, Cindy Marten. “Lack of technology and internet access is an equity issue across the country, and Oakland shows us that a solution is not only within reach, but that it can happen very quickly. #OaklandUndivided is a thoughtful, strategic model that addresses both immediate needs and sustainable solutions to close the digital divide for good.”

If people want to help, online tutoring means that opportunities are more possible and more important than ever. Just an hour of time, once a week, allows a caring adult to tutor a struggling student in reading or math and make a lasting difference in that child’s life, all from the comfort of their home or office. Thanks to Oakland Undivided for making so much of this possible… for the children!

YES, I CAN ensure children have a fair and equitable chance in school!

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

I want to help fund Children Rising tutoring and mentoring programs to empower more children this year!