Perspectives — The Right to Read

By Jim Wambach | June 29, 2022

“Ensure that every Oakland child is an ‘on-time’ reader provided with full LITERACY: a fundamental civil right, a powerful protection from the school to prison pipeline, and the cornerstone for a life of choice and fulfillment.” – Kareem Weaver, Co-Founder, FULCRUM

EVERY child should be able to read with confidence and read to learn—this is a fundamental human right and a foundational element for social justice.

The time for the broader community to support the schools, the kids, and their families is now. Never before have we had so many children in Oakland reading so far below grade level. We can point to COVID as the reason, but we know thousands of Oakland’s first-, second-, and third-grade children could not read before COVID. Many more children are struggling now.

Family empowerment provides parents the right tools.

Your gifts will help double the weekly tutoring sessions each child receives and grow the number of families that can confidently provide in-home literacy support.

Will you take me by the hand?

What if you were sitting in Jeyla’s second-grade class, feeling lost…wishing you had someone who could help you understand the letters and numbers her teacher keeps talking about.

Who would take you by the hand?

Your end-of year gift can send Jeyla her very own tutor.

Your Gifts Support High-dosage Tutoring

High-dosage tutoring is widely recognized as an effective intervention and a smart investment by schools and the community to support equitable learning recovery. Tutoring must be evidence-based and supplement quality instruction, especially for children who have experienced significant learning loss as a result of the pandemic. Unfortunately, the children most in need of this intervention are unlikely to have access to high-quality and high-dosage tutoring.

“Family empowerment—making it possible for families to have the confidence and the right tools to support their children academically—is crucial.”

Succeeding by Reading, Children Rising’s early literacy program, is focused on second- and third-graders attending schools in our lowest-income neighborhoods who haven’t yet learned to read. The program curriculum and tools embrace the five critical components of early literacy—phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension. It is also rigorously structured to equip volunteer tutors with the confidence and knowledge to systematically grow foundational literacy skills in every child tutored.

Family empowerment—making it possible for families to have the confidence and the right tools to support their children academically—is crucial. The same tools and training used to equip our volunteer reading tutors are now being made available to the families of the children in our reading program.

Our Community Needs to Act

Our goal this year is to double the weekly tutoring sessions each child receives and grow the number of families that can confidently provide in-home literacy support. Combined, both provide the high-dosage tutoring support so critically necessary to help our kids catch up as quickly as possible.

This is an urgent community need. It requires substantially larger numbers of volunteers from the community. If you have an interest in transforming a child’s life while strengthening your community, consider providing the gift of literacy. Watching a child’s confidence grow as they become readers is as special as it gets—and we can make it easy for you to make it happen!

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!

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