Taniya Finds Her Safe Space

By Children Rising | June 29, 2022

Your Support Helps Her Learn to Read

Jeannette Brantley came to Children Rising in 2019 as a volunteer tutor, looking to offer something back to her Oakland community. That year of tutoring was the first round of her “initiation into the Children Rising community.” Jeannette joined the Succeeding by Reading staff as Associate Program Coordinator and feels blessed to have met so many eager young students and caring, committed tutors. She recently shared the story of Taniya* and Angela.

Angela Frankel and Taniya

Miss Angela made Taniya feel “seen, heard, and valued.” The trust they formed made Taniya feel safe and eager to learn.

My experience as an SbR tutor and program coordinator allows me to contribute my time and abilities to children in under-served schools, offering nurturing support to get them to become proficient in reading. Over time, I found it was as much about my learning as it was for my students. I learned to meet each student where they were. Students often arrived with trauma that was unknown to me—unspoken and all too often unacknowledged. At times, a child’s actions spoke of a need for a safe space to be seen and heard before the work of learning could occur. I needed to listen to hurts that were not always articulated in words.

Will you complete HER Circle of Care?

Through one-on-one reading and math tutoring, and family support, you will nurture an eager child in a circle of care so they may succeed in school.

Taniya Blossoms in School, Thanks to You

This past year, I have witnessed Taniya, a third-grader in a West Oakland elementary school, blossom in her reading skills after working with her tutor, Miss Angela. Initially, Taniya did not buy into the tutoring, but she continued to attend with other students from her class who were in the clinic.

“Our work extends beyond the mechanics of reading and includes all the elements of demonstrating care for the kids we serve.” – Jeannette Brantley, Associate Program Coordinator

Angela has worked with some of our more challenging students, many of whom lack confidence in their ability to learn to become better readers. That often shows up as a reluctance to read. Angela was able to engage with Taniya because of her patience. She gave Taniya space and time to share whatever she needed to share before they would begin. Taniya felt seen, heard, and valued. More importantly, she came to know that she could trust her tutor, who was a new person in her life. Taniya felt safe in our reading clinic.

Hard Work and Caring Support Pay Off
Confident Reader

Your support of Succeeding by Reading provides an eager child with a one-on-one reading tutor. The relationship builds confidence in the student, so they become confident readers.

With her hard work and the care extended to her, Taniya went on to read at our highest reading zone. In our year-end assessment, she tested at grade level.

“Team Taniya” Y’all Rock! It proves once again that we teach our students the foundations needed to become proficient readers. Still, our work extends beyond the mechanics of reading and includes all the elements of demonstrating care for the kids we serve. It’s fundamental to our work.

An hour a week with a struggling child builds self-esteem and helps them blossom into a confident reader.

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!


* Children Rising respects the privacy of our students. While all the stories we share are genuine and true, we change names and use stock photography when needed to protect student privacy.

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