Blog

A Changing of the Board

By Eric Steckel
December 14, 2021

Jonathan Mayes at 2018 Hope for Children Now.

We say farewell to Jonathan Mayes and Marti Pozzi, two board members who went above and beyond to empower children and youth in our community.

Over the years, Children Rising has been blessed with a passionate, dedicated, diverse board of directors. The combined skill sets and unique perspectives each and every board member brings to the organization have guided us and made us stronger.

A board of directors is an ever-evolving group. Each year, we say farewell as board members’ terms come to an end, grateful for their contributions to empower children and youth in our community. And each year, we welcome new members to the board, each of whom brings a new passion and enthusiasm to come alongside the kids.

This past fall, Children Rising was left with some big shoes to fill. Fortunately, we have found a pair of eager new board members to ensure that the organization goes from strength to strength.

Jonathan Mayes joined the Children Rising board in 2015 and served as the board chair for the past two years. As the Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at the Albertson’s Companies, he brought a keen understanding of the needs of the children, youth, and families in under-resourced communities. In addition to his steady leadership, Jonathan participated on numerous committees, including the Gala planning committee. His willingness to get up on stage—in a sombrero if need be—to share a message of hope and vision for the future will be missed.

Marti Pozzi has served on the board since 2018, readily volunteering for key committees, including the gala, re-branding, and community development committees. Marti has been an accomplished and acclaimed leader in fast-growth, high-tech companies for 30 years. Her deep business experience combined with leadership positions on additional nonprofit boards consistently brought high-value, innovative ideas and opportunities for growth to Children Rising.

Meca and Henrietta New Board Members

Meca Wanger and Henrietta Fabio join the board of directors with passion and enthusiasm to come alongside the kids.

In October, Meca Wagner joined the board looking to become more involved with Children Rising. As Equal Employment Opportunity Officer for Caltrans Bay Area, Meca has hosted CareerBridge interns since 2017 and knows first-hand the impact our programs have on children and youth. “I value the importance of being in service to others and activism. Serving on the board of Children Rising will provide me the opportunity to do both,” Meca shared.

Henrietta Fabio joined the board in November. Henrietta, a native of Oakland and a graduate of Castelemont High School, retired after spending over 30 years in the insurance and financial planning industry. With such deep community roots, she has devoted her time and energy volunteering to improve Oakland neighborhoods. Henrietta was drawn to the Children Rising board from a shared belief that, “We are indeed a community called by God to work for the health, welfare, and prosperity of Oakland.”

With profound gratitude, we thank all of our board members, past and present. A nonprofit organization is only as good as its collective members, and we have benefited from some of the best on our board of directors. Thank you.

To Marti and Jonathan, we wish you all the best.

To Henrietta and Meca, welcome aboard. We look forward to rolling up our sleeves and working together… for the children.

 

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 — We Tip Our Hat to You AND Our Educators

By Jim Wambach
December 9, 2021

“A good teacher is like a candle—it consumes itself to light the way for others.” — Mustafa Kemal Atatürk

Jim Wambach - Executive DirectorAs we count down the closing days of 2021, I feel a profound sense of hope, confidence, and momentum in our community schools. That comes in no small part from your eagerness to support children, youth, and families in our community through your time, talent, and gifts. It has made all the difference as we adjust to the challenges of one-on-one tutoring in the era of COVID.

Thank you. We could not have possibly served the children this year without you.

Math tutoring at Sankofa United Elementary School.

Math and reading tutors provide individual care and instruction to children eager to learn and provide much-needed support to teachers.

We are also grateful for everyone in the extended Children Rising family. Over the years, Children Rising has developed strong partnerships with our local educators. The challenges they have faced day after day and year after year have been daunting. COVID compounded those challenges. Our teachers quickly pivoted and learned to teach remotely for an entire year, but their frustrations had to be great. Not only were they working much longer hours, they knew they were less effective instructing the children.

A year later, teachers no longer have to teach remotely. However, they now face steep learning curves where 80% of the children in their classrooms are two or more years behind grade level. Imagine trying to prepare 30 second-graders to be ready for the third grade when many of them don’t even know the letters of the alphabet or can’t count to 100! We are simply in awe of the dedication and passion our educators have for the children and youth in our community. They continue to exert extraordinary efforts to ensure the kids receive the care and instruction they so richly deserve.

A student practices math at Sankofa United Elementary School.

Children are happy to be back in school. Your support empowers them to recover as quickly as possible from COVID-related learning loss.

We are honored to work side by side with them and support their efforts with our interventional tutoring programs, Succeeding by Reading and Path2Math. This year, we are partnering with as many schools as possible as quickly as possible. We are grateful for the teachers’ extraordinary tenacity, enthusiasm, and dedication to providing for the needs of the children in their classrooms.

Our goal is to support those teachers by providing individual care, attention, and instruction to the children they refer to us—empowering those children to recover as quickly as possible from COVID-related learning loss.

The past year and a half has been a challenge for all of us, especially our educators. They are on the front lines, every day, caring for our kids, instructing them, and dedicating the best of themselves to the future generation. It is a noble calling.

I want to take a moment to express my heartfelt gratitude to every member of the Children Rising family. The children need all of us now, more than ever.

For the children,

 

 

 

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!