Perspectives — Saving Our Kids is an Upstream Approach

By Jim Wambach | February 13, 2024

Let’s Address Crime Before it Develops
“Law is downstream from culture. By the time you make a law about something, you’re reacting, not acting. I’d rather shape the culture.” – Rick Warren
Carla and Path2Math Student at Sankofa

Your support of Children Rising one-on-one tutoring programs enables us to nurture children in a circle of care and address a critical societal issue upstream so more kids can enjoy a fuller, safer, and more prosperous life.

Recently, Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao has sought to address Oakland’s high crime by resurrecting the successful Ceasefire program, credited with saving 140 lives over a five-year period. Programs like ceasefire may indeed save lives, but most programs like these address the problem downstream of the problem’s headwaters.

Addressing the problem with an upstream approach

We know that success in school at a young age provides children with a much fairer chance of living a healthy, prosperous life, free of the street violence and crime we are witnessing today.

As a community, we are called to partner together with families and educators to nurture children in a circle of care. When we provide young children with essential learning support, they develop the skills, self-confidence, and hope necessary to mitigate future hardships and address societal issues stemming directly from those hardships.

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.

Children who learn to read and understand foundational math skills are far more likely to succeed in middle school, graduate from high school, and enjoy a fuller, safer, more prosperous life. And when individuals prosper, communities prosper.

Unfortunately, too many of our precious young children do not receive the educational support they desperately need. Indeed, nearly 75% of Oakland second and third-graders are two or more years behind in basic reading and math! These eight and nine-year-old children have already lost self-confidence and believe school is not for them.

Cheryl Gipson Path2Math Tutor with Latino Boy_IMG_6527

We are facing a genuine danger of many more Black and Brown children in our lowest-income neighborhoods becoming more discouraged, giving up, and dropping out of middle school and high school. This leads to downstream issues like poverty and higher rates of criminal activity.

We are facing a genuine danger of many more Black and Brown children in our lowest-income neighborhoods becoming more discouraged, giving up, and dropping out of middle school and high school.

Children who have not graduated from high school are far more likely to live in poverty and engage in criminal behavior as adults. And when individuals in the community suffer, neighborhoods suffer.

The reinstatement of programs like Ceasefire should be applauded. However, until we truly address the core cause of so many of our societal problems upstream, we will face mounting challenges downstream when it’s often too late.

Yes, I can embrace a child in a circle of care!

 I want to learn more about online reading, math, or homework clinics to see if in-school 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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