Blog

3 Ways Volunteer Tutors are the Beating Heart of Children Rising

By Eric Steckel
April 22, 2022 | Read More

“Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they have the heart.” – Elizabeth Andrew This week we celebrate National Volunteer Week. As an organization, volunteer tutors and mentors are the beating heart of all that we do for children and youth in our community. For over 20 years we have provided opportunities for loving, caring […]

Perspectives — The Power of Family

By Jim Wambach
April 20, 2022 | Read More

“If there is one thing educators can agree on, it’s this: children do better in school when their parents get involved in their learning.”— William Bennett Imagine you’re a third-grade teacher trying to teach a third-grade curriculum while 67% of your class are two or more grade levels behind in their reading skills. On top […]

Jamari Gets a POWER Boost In Reading

By Eric Steckel
April 7, 2022 | Read More

At-home Literacy Tools Support Family Learning Sometimes, kids just need a boost of POWER—Practice Opportunities With Emerging Readers—to get them back to grade level in reading. A compact box, packed full of early-reader books and literacy materials for eager young learners, POWER Packs are a new tool that Children Rising developed this year. They are […]

Bidding Farewell to Health4Kids

By Eric Steckel
March 31, 2022 | Read More

Program Provided 15 Years of Nourishing Meals to Families at Home Children need nourishing food to grow and learn. Unfortunately, many kids in our community go home to empty cupboards on the weekends. In 2006, Children Rising listened to the needs of our school partners and launched Health4Kids. A unique partnership with the Alameda County […]

Nyjah and His Online Math Tutor Work Late To Improve Numeracy Skills

By Eric Steckel
March 30, 2022 | Read More

Flexibility Helps Busy Family Find Time for Online Math Tutoring Nyjah’s house is full! His mother, Tabetha, is constantly on the go, taking Nyjah and his six brothers and stepbrothers to and from school and after-school care while working full time. It’s the life of a working mother. Nyjah is an active second-grader who loves […]

The Younger Family Fund Donates $25,000 to Address Early Literacy and Numeracy in Oakland

By Chelsea Boniak
February 16, 2022 | Read More

Local Fund Supports Child Learning in Oakland’s Under-resourced Neighborhood Schools Children Rising is pleased to be the recipient of a generous grant from the Younger Family Fund to support and expand our proven one-on-one tutoring programs. This is the second $25,000 gift of a three-year commitment to Children Rising. We are so honored and thankful […]

Perspectives — As the Children Rising Community Grows, Our Children and Youth Pay it Forward

By Jim Wambach
February 3, 2022 | Read More

“If you send out goodness from yourself, or if you share that which is happy or good within you, it will all come back to you multiplied ten thousand times.” – John O’Donohue I’ve often spoken about how wonderful the Children Rising community is—and it is indeed remarkable—but I’ve never really defined it. The Children […]

Internship Sets Gracie on the Path to a Fulfilling Career

By Eric Steckel
February 1, 2022 | Read More

Gracie Wilson is a long, long way from home. A 2021 graduate of Cal State East Bay, she took her first post-college job as a resident life manager at the University of Texas at Dallas, assisting peer advisors on campus. She can trace this job back to her days as an eager young CareerBridge intern. […]

Caring Mentors Transform the Life of a Young Refugee

By Eric Steckel
January 27, 2022 | Read More

Few children have overcome the challenges Abraham Wordsworth faced. Born in Liberia in 1996 amid a violent civil war, Abraham was just six months old when his Aunt Theresa fled with him and his two older cousins to nearby Ivory Coast. After spending his early childhood in a refugee camp, Abraham’s family finally relocated to […]

CareerBridge Interns Support Path2Math Program

By Eric Steckel
January 20, 2022 | Read More

Enthusiasm and Compassion Fuels Summer Learning When Randy Roth founded Children Rising in 2001, his vision was “to prepare today’s youth for a life of serving others and contributing positively to their communities.” This year, we watched that vision spring to life in a profound and touching way. Last spring, as COVID continued to disrupt […]

Perspectives—MLK’s Legacy: Serving Others for the Shalom of our Community

By Jim Wambach
January 15, 2022 | Read More

“Everybody can be great … because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” — Martin Luther King Jr. Today we celebrate the life, the […]

The Callison Foundation Donates $25,000 to Bolster Early Literacy in Oakland

By Chelsea Boniak
January 12, 2022 | Read More

Local Foundation Supports Children in Oakland’s Under-resourced Neighborhood Schools The Callison foundation has recently awarded Children Rising a generous $25,000 grant. The funding will help support Succeeding by Reading, our proven one-on-one interventional literacy tutoring program. We are so honored and thankful to have once again received this funding. Support from amazing local corporations and […]

A Changing of the Board

By Eric Steckel
December 14, 2021 | Read More

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’ […]

Perspectives — We Tip Our Hat to You AND Our Educators

By Jim Wambach
December 9, 2021 | Read More

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

Happy Thanksgiving from Children Rising

By Jim Wambach
November 25, 2021 | Read More

Blessings from our family to yours! This week, we celebrate a uniquely American holiday. It is a favorite of mine for many reasons. We share the joy and comfort of family, gathering together to express gratitude for all of the gifts we have received. It is also a reminder of the welcoming our forefathers received […]

20 Years of Children Rising to Their God-given Potential

By Children Rising
November 1, 2021 | Read More

Special Contribution by Randy Roth, founder and former Executive Director at Children Rising “Seek the shalom (peace and prosperity) of the city to which I have carried you.” — Jeremiah 29:7 When I reflect on 20 years of nurturing and empowering children in our community to rise to their God-given potential, I can’t help but […]

Sky’s the Limit for These Ambitious Youth

By Eric Steckel
October 20, 2021 | Read More

Internship with Bessie Coleman Aviation Allstars Opens a World of Aviation Careers Margena Wade-Green, CareerBridge Program Director, has a keen eye and unbridled enthusiasm for untapped opportunities. It materialized this past summer as a unique aviation internship in which nine of our CareerBridge Academy students participated. For the past five years, CareerBridge has partnered with […]

Burbank Elementary: Planting the Seeds of Children Rising

By Children Rising
October 18, 2021 | Read More

Former principal remembers the early days of Faith Network Special Contribution by Roberta Teller, former principal at Burbank Elementary School 2021 marks the 20th anniversary of Children Rising! As we celebrate this very special milestone, we caught up with Roberta Teller, former principal at Luther Burbank Elementary School, and the very first school to partner […]

Mikayla Overcomes Learning Challenges in Math

By Eric Steckel
October 15, 2021 | Read More

One-on-One Attention Helps Child Focus, Develop Self-confidence Mikayla, one of the first children to enroll in Children Rising’s Path2Math online tutoring program, is like so many second-grade girls. She has a collection of stuffed animals — and unicorns — loves playing with her cousins and friends, and adores Elsa from the movie Frozen. Like so […]

Safeway Foundation Provides $30,000 Grant to Promote Social Justice and Racial Equity

By Chelsea Boniak
October 5, 2021 | Read More

Local corporation supports initiatives to eliminate inequities and address needs of racial and ethnic minority groups Children Rising is pleased to be the recipient of a generous $30,000 grant from the Safeway Foundation that will provide much-needed assistance to children and youth in our community impacted by social and racial inequity. The grant is made […]

Reading and Math Tutors Needed in Oakland Elementary Schools

By Jim Wambach
October 1, 2021 | Read More

80% of Second-graders in Children Rising Schools are Two or More Grade Levels Behind It has been a turbulent 18 months, so full of challenges and opportunities. The global pandemic had a galvanizing effect in many ways. We saw the Oakland Undivided Campaign virtually eliminate the digital divide in Oakland Unified School District. Children Rising […]

Perspectives – State superintendent sets goal to get all California third graders reading by 2026

By Jim Wambach
September 24, 2021 | Read More

“We already know that when students learn to read, they can read to learn anything and that this is a gateway skill that can carry them to any point in their life, career, and in their journey.” — Tony Thurmond, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Low childhood literacy rates have been a challenge for educators […]

Safeway Foundation Donates $15,000 to Provide Meals to Students in Children Rising Programs

By Chelsea Boniak
September 14, 2021 | Read More

Nourishing Neighbors Program helps children and families struggling with food insecurity Children Rising is pleased to be the recipient of a generous grant from Safeway Foundation’s Nourishing Neighbors that will help provide much-needed assistance to the children in our community impacted by food insecurity. Many hunger relief organizations continue to be overloaded by increased hunger […]

Perspectives – Back to School 2021 Was a Day to Rejoice

By Jim Wambach
August 24, 2021 | Read More

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11) When Oakland Unified School District opened its doors two weeks ago, it felt like a day to rejoice. For some students — many of whom have […]

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

By Chelsea Boniak
July 15, 2021 | Read More

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

Perspectives – Bridging Digital Divide Provides Online Tutoring Opportunity for All

By Jim Wambach
July 13, 2021 | Read More

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

Nakoa Continues His Progress in Math

By Eric Steckel
July 9, 2021 | Read More

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. Nakoa first enrolled in Path2Math as a second-grader in the 2019-2020 school year. He had been making significant progress in his math […]

Carlos Gets a Boost From Online Tutor

By Eric Steckel
July 6, 2021 | Read More

Eager student overcoming COVID-related learning loss with online tutor 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 […]

Happy Fourth of July

By Jim Wambach
July 3, 2021 | Read More

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 […]

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

By Jim Wambach
July 1, 2021 | Read More

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

Perspectives – Juneteenth 2021: A Time to Remember, A Time for More Progress

By Children Rising
June 17, 2021 | Read More

Perspectives by Margena Wade-Green, Program Director Path2Math and CareerBridge Throughout my life, my family celebrated Independence Day on June 19th — Juneteenth as it came to be known. For so many of my forefathers, it was June 19, 1865 when they were granted their freedom. It was the day that Union soldiers read the Emancipation […]

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf Sees Bridges of Hope for Oakland Children

By Eric Steckel
June 1, 2021 | Read More

Since taking office in 2015, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf has focused her efforts on improving education in our community schools. It has been central to her vision for the future of Oakland. Children Rising was honored to welcome Mayor Schaaf, who once again shared her thoughts during our Hope for Children Now LIVE gala.  […]

Memorial Day Blessings

By Children Rising
May 31, 2021 | Read More

Today we once again honor all those who gave their lives in active service to our country. Thank you. You are not forgotten. We also want to reflect on all of those we have lost throughout this most difficult year. So many front-line workers — doctors, nurses, teachers, grocery store clerks, and more — heroically […]

Rita Moreno Shares Her Passion for Childhood Education

By Eric Steckel
May 27, 2021 | Read More

Rita Moreno is a national treasure. She has won Oscar, Grammy, Emmy, and Tony awards as an actress, singer, and performer. Although she has been in the limelight for nearly 70 years, her story is a uniquely American one. And Children Rising was honored to have Rita as our special guest at Hope for Children […]

2021 Hope for Children Now — A Night to Remember

By Jim Wambach
May 20, 2021 | Read More

Building Bridges of Hope in Oakland This past weekend, we hosted the 2021 Hope for Children Now LIVE gala. Whether you were able to join us live, were a sponsor of our gala, or contributed in other ways, we are overjoyed and grateful to you. Thanks to you, we exceeded our financial goals and are […]

Perspectives – Seek the Shalom of the City

By Jim Wambach
May 5, 2021 | Read More

“Seek the shalom of the city where I have sent you, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its shalom you will find your shalom.” — Jeremiah 29:7 This year marks a milestone for Children Rising. It was 20 years ago that the members of First Covenant Church, inspired by Jeremiah 29:7, […]

Library Services – Sharing the Joy of Reading

By Eric Steckel
April 5, 2021 | Read More

Children love a good story, something that lets their imagination soar! Despite constraints imposed by distance learning, our Succeeding by Reading Library Services Program has continued to open the doors of reading to the kids in our community. Here are a few ways they have shared the joy of reading. Grab-and-Go Book Giveaway – We […]

Succeeding by Reading Literacy Tutoring Re-Launches Online

By Eric Steckel
April 1, 2021 | Read More

Opportunities to innovate in support of student learning Succeeding by Reading Anywhere – Children Rising’s one-on-one, online literacy tutoring program – officially launched the first week of January, and expanded in February to serve seven schools. We are delighted to once again work with children so eager to learn to read. The launch comes after […]

Perspectives – Shared Vision and Clear Focus: A Lasting Legacy In Our Community

By Jim Wambach
March 26, 2021 | Read More

“The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.” —William James This year marks a milestone. Children Rising celebrates 20 years of coming alongside children at a critical time in their young lives to nurture hope, the courage to dream, and the opportunity to thrive. Randy Roth, our founder, […]

Online Tutoring Will Help Adelyn and Enrique to Read At Grade Level

By Eric Steckel
March 25, 2021 | Read More

When shelter in place was ordered and schools closed in March of 2020, distance learning swept into schools across the country. It has been a challenge to completely transform to online instruction, while simultaneously teaching the children. Over time, the teachers who dedicate themselves to our kids have gotten better at distance learning, but there […]

In Memory of Marilyn Williams

By Children Rising
March 12, 2021 | Read More

This past November, Succeeding by Reading lost a dear member of our team. Marilyn Williams was a gifted volunteer tutor in our literacy program for over 10 years. She was part of a tight-knit tutor team serving at Markham Elementary School in East Oakland, and she delighted in working with our higher-need students. All Marilyn’s […]

Perspectives – A Look Back – and Forward – During Black History Month

By Jim Wambach
February 22, 2021 | Read More

“I think what motivates people is not great hate, but great love for other people.”  — Dr Huey P. Newton Each February we celebrate Black History Month. As we pause to reflect upon the rich, vibrant, and foundational role of Black people in our nation’s history, this year I feel a sense of urgency, coupled […]

Our Community Enablement Engine Offers Other Ways to Give

By Chelsea Boniak
February 5, 2021 | Read More

Time or money? How often do we have plenty of both? I remember my days as a recent college graduate. It was the middle of an economic recession, and I struggled to find a job. I had plenty of time on my hands, and what I really wanted to do was travel. Unfortunately, I had […]

This Generous Moment – An Unexpected Ray of Light

By Chelsea Boniak
February 3, 2021 | Read More

“You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion and… your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.” — 2 Corinthians 9:11 Rays of light often come at unexpected times, creating rainbows of hope and promise. We see it each time a child learns a new reading or […]

Perspectives – Online Tutoring Fosters Holistic Relationships With Children and Families

By Jim Wambach
January 26, 2021 | Read More

Unintended consequences can be a great thing. As Children Rising develops our one-on-one online tutoring resources to address the challenges of distance learning, we are discovering many outcomes that will better support the children and families, and foster holistic relationships. Online tutoring tools are fun and engaging for the children, and they allow us to […]

Here’s to renewed hope in 2021!

By Jim Wambach
December 31, 2020 | Read More

Small acts. Big difference. Tonight we say farewell to 2020. It has been a monumental struggle for everyone in our community, to be sure, but it has been especially so for the marginalized in our society. Despite the challenges we have faced together, we move forward into the new year with renewed hope and enthusiasm. […]

Perspectives – Building Bridges To a Better Future

By Jim Wambach
December 29, 2020 | Read More

“I guarantee that the seed you plant in love, no matter how small, will grow into a mighty tree of refuge. We all want a future for ourselves and we must now care enough to create, nurture and secure a future for our children.” — Afeni Shakur When the schools suddenly closed in March, 450 […]

Amber Found a (Career)Bridge of Hope

By Eric Steckel
December 23, 2020 | Read More

For many youths, high school is a time to try new things, explore the unknown, and look forward to a limitless future. Amber, a junior at Newark Memorial High School, seizes opportunities with the enthusiasm and vigor of youth. In addition to completing a summer internship through CareerBridge, she has participated in Boost@BerkeleyHaas since her […]

(Video) A message of hope from Children Rising

By Jim Wambach
December 22, 2020 | Read More

2021, building bridges to a better future! As we approach the festive holiday season and tie a ribbon on a most extraordinary year, let’s look forward to 2021 with renewed hope and enthusiasm! Despite the challenges you have faced, you have continued to rally around our little community enablement engine. Your support ensures that every […]

What Will Your Legacy Be?

By Chelsea Boniak
December 21, 2020 | Read More

Nurturing and Empowering Generations of Children Thank you for embracing our vision for Oakland. You are empowering thousands of children and youth to build bridges to a better future. Imagine… A city where every child feels loved and safe and has reliable adults who model positive values. A city where every child can develop as […]

Introducing Path2Math Anywhere

By Jim Wambach
December 21, 2020 | Read More

Online tutoring helps children in need of a little extra support In October, we welcomed back our first group of second-graders from Martin Luther King Jr. and Piedmont Avenue Elementary Schools for one-on-one math tutoring! At a time when many students are falling further behind, this is a significant step forward. You have seen how […]

Why I sit at the kid’s table

By Jim Wambach
November 26, 2020 | Read More

Happy Thanksgiving from Children Rising Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family! Being a proud grandfather of 5, I know first hand that the best seat at the dinner table on Thanksgiving Day is at the “kid’s table”. Telling wild stories, making silly faces, and hiding vegetables under the table can be much more fun […]

Bridges of Hope Project

By Jim Wambach
October 29, 2020 | Read More

Empowering children and youth to build bridges to a better future Over the years, you have empowered thousands of eager children and youth in our Oakland community who continue to struggle in school. You have seen how the technology gap, the achievement gap, and the resource gap hinders so many eager young learners. Through your […]

Online Tutoring vs. Distance Learning

By Eric Steckel
October 19, 2020 | Read More

Using technology to enhance our one-on-one tutoring What’s in a word? Don’t get me started! Last week, our team discussed the language we use to describe and relate our all-new online tutoring programs, Succeeding by Reading Anywhere and Path2Math Anywhere. As we did so, we struggled with the terms “online tutoring,” “remote learning,” and “distance […]

Perspectives – A Community Comes Together – For the Children

By Jim Wambach
October 13, 2020 | Read More

“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.” — Coretta Scott King When the schools in Oakland abruptly closed in March, children were confused and isolated. Many parents, out of a job, had serious concerns about supporting their families. Our educators, with a tremendous love for the […]

Library Services – Adapting to the New Normal

By Pearl Wang
October 12, 2020 | Read More

When schools closed on March 13th, our Succeeding by Reading Library Services Program immediately pivoted to help the kids as much as possible. The libraries might have been closed, but Ms. Kim and her team provided new books to each student of Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School as parents dropped by to pick up […]

CareerBridge Students Thrive in Distance Summer Internships

By Eric Steckel
October 9, 2020 | Read More

COVID-19 has disrupted so many aspects of life for children and youth. But try as it might, it couldn’t put a stop to our CareerBridge summer internship program. This year, 20 eager high school students participated in a “distance learning” version of our one-of-a-kind internship. Instead of spending 6 weeks at Caltrans, BART, or our […]

Heart2Heart Greeting Cards by CareerBridge

By Eric Steckel
October 8, 2020 | Read More

Student designs spread love, inspiration, encouragement, and a smile CareerBridge is proud to announce Heart2Heart Greeting Cards. Heart2Heart cards are all handmade, original designs by CareerBridge Academy 2020 Entrepreneurial Summer Internship students. There are two delightful, inspirational collections from which to choose: “It’s A New Day” “Happy Days” CareerBridge offers professional development workshops, paid internships […]

Path2Math Provides Nakoa Structure, Support, and Online Math Tutoring in Midst of COVID-19

By Eric Steckel
October 2, 2020 | Read More

Online math tutoring program to continue Nakoa’s progress Nakoa* is a typical 8-year-old boy living through COVID-19. Outgoing, personable, and a hard worker in school, he wants to learn and succeed. But, like an entire generation of school children, he’s been stuck at home, unable to see his friends, and sorely missing the structure and […]

Program Development – Distance Learning Math and Reading Tutoring

By Jim Wambach
August 10, 2020 | Read More

The 2020-21 school year is upon us, and it promises to be unlike any other we’ve experienced. Every day I hear from parents of school-aged children anxiously preparing their kids to begin the school year with distance learning. They are struggling to understand how school is going to function, assess their technology and connectedness, coordinate […]

A Time For Change and a Time for Hope

By Jim Wambach
July 21, 2020 | Read More

Perspectives Article by Jim Wambach, Executive Director “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” — Barack Obama At the end of March, someone asked how they could cancel their 90-day trial of […]

Shy and Reserved Child Learns Vital Math Skills

By Eric Steckel
July 14, 2020 | Read More

For many students, a trip up to the blackboard is a fate worse than death. For shy and reserved Jocelyn*, speaking English as a second language compounded matters. Even when she felt she knew the answer, she did not know how to articulate her thoughts or explain how she came to an answer. “She was […]

Determined Young Child Overcomes Challenges and Learns to Read

By Eric Steckel
July 7, 2020 | Read More

When working with struggling students, timing is crucial. In Juliana’s* case, we experienced both good and bad timing, seasoned by a team of caring adults who would not quit on a young girl determined to learn to read. Three years ago, when Juliana was in first grade, her teacher referred her to Gwen Stephens, Succeeding […]

Program Development – Online Tutoring Opens Doors for Children Eager to Learn

By Eric Steckel
June 26, 2020 | Read More

As we continue to navigate the uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been hearing from so many of you, our Children Rising family. We all feel the urgent need to support students who may have fallen even further behind over the past three months due to the closure of schools in mid-March. Now more […]

Juneteenth — Celebrating a Better Tomorrow

By Jim Wambach
June 19, 2020 | Read More

“The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired laborer.” – Delivered […]

Together We Serve for Racial Justice

By Jim Wambach
June 9, 2020 | Read More

A Statement from Children Rising on Racial Justice The murder of George Floyd on May 25th at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer was heinous and intolerable. It has exposed a centuries-old wound, once again shining a spotlight on racial injustice in our nation. Children Rising stands in strong support of racial justice. We […]

Hope for Children Now – YOU Stepped Up In a Big Way!

By Jim Wambach
May 30, 2020 | Read More

Your unwavering support will nurture and equip vulnerable children to rise above! On behalf of Children Rising, I want to thank you for supporting Hope for Children Now 2020. You stepped up in a big way, and we are both humble and grateful for your response. I remember the first gala planning we held just […]

Virtual 5K Update: We Did It Together!

By Pearl Wang
May 14, 2020 | Read More

Dear Children Rising community, I’m so thankful to all of you. Because of you and your efforts, we not only reached our fundraising goal of $10,000, we exceeded it by over $1000! As our first virtual 5k event ever, we weren’t sure how it would turn out, but we knew our community would show up […]

Celebrate #GivingTuesdayNow

By Jim Wambach
May 5, 2020 | Read More

Unleashing the power of people to transform their communities Dear Friends, The COVID-19 pandemic has spared no one. It’s far-reaching impact has created unprecedented challenges and hardships. But despite the uncertainty and anxiety we all may feel, one thing has been truly inspiring: How the entire East Bay community has come together to provide for […]

Happy National Teacher Appreciation Month!

By Pearl Wang
May 1, 2020 | Read More

Nominate your favorite teacher to be highlighted by GO Public Schools It’s the first of May! It’s a bright, lovely day in the East Bay. And we’re kicking off National Teacher Appreciation Month by celebrating School Principals’ Day. In this period of social distancing and school closures, we want to applaud the hard work of […]

COVID-19 Family Relief Program: Nourishing “The Rose That Grew In Concrete”

By Jim Wambach
April 21, 2020 | Read More

Last month, I shared the poem that has captured the hearts of all of us at Children Rising. “The Rose That Grew In Concrete” marvels at the beauty that can spring forth in the midst of difficult, urban conditions. Every one of the children we are privileged to work with is like a precious rose […]

Children Rising Program and Tutor Update

By Jim Wambach
March 31, 2020 | Read More

Dear Friends, We send warm greetings to you. We pray that everyone is sheltering in place and staying healthy during this unprecedented and challenging time. Throughout this health crisis, Children Rising is steadfastly focused on nurturing and equipping the vulnerable children in our community – students whose academic growth is being so disrupted this year. […]

“Roses In Concrete” – Our Response to COVID-19

By Jim Wambach
March 20, 2020 | Read More

Caring for the children in our community Dear Friends, As we all navigate the challenges and stress of this uncertain time, our hearts go out to the vulnerable members of our community most affected by the global health crisis. We pray for those who have fallen ill. We humbly thank the brave front-line caregivers who […]

Advocacy: Speaking on behalf of or in support of vulnerable children

By Jim Wambach
March 11, 2020 | Read More

Perspectives Article by Jim Wambach, Executive Director “We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It’s easy to say ‘It’s not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem.’ Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes.” — Fred Rogers […]

Healthy Food On the Weekend Helps Students In School

By Eric Steckel
March 11, 2020 | Read More

Learning can’t happen on an empty stomach. Sadly, poverty in our community causes many children to go hungry, especially on the weekends when nutritious school lunches are not available. Our amazing and faithful group of 30 Health4Kids volunteers gathers together twice a month at the Alameda County Community Food Bank, where they sort and pack […]

Celebrating Norman Brooks – A Real Champion for Children

By Children Rising
March 10, 2020 | Read More

by Randy Roth, Founder and former Executive Director of Children Rising This past weekend, Children Rising, and the entire Oakland community, lost a true champion for children. Before Faith Network of the East Bay was even founded in July 2001, Norman Brooks had heard about our vision of church congregations and communities of faith “adopting […]

Tutors Provide a Safe Place For Learning & Healing

By Eric Steckel
March 9, 2020 | Read More

“Children are like snowflakes. Each is different and fragile, but beautiful in their own way.” Children Rising reading and math clinic coordinators know from experience that no two children are the same. Each precious child comes into our lives not only with their own unique personality, but also with the weight of their experience on […]

Children Rising Celebrates Our 30th Tutoring Clinic!

By Eric Steckel
February 27, 2020 | Read More

In early January, Children Rising opened a Path2Math clinic at Grass Valley Elementary School. This marked a milestone as we celebrated our 30th tutoring clinic. What makes it special is that it bears the hallmarks of Children Rising initiatives since our very beginning as Faith Network of the East Bay. Late last fall, Casey Beckner, […]

“The Border Is Here” – What Can We Do About It?

By Eric Steckel
February 20, 2020 | Read More

Perspectives Article by Eric Steckel, Communications Manager “I had crossed the line. I was free; but there was no one to welcome me to the land of freedom. I was a stranger in a strange land.” – Harriet Tubman Last week, Children Rising participated in the Project Peace Speaker Series event “The Border Is Here”. […]

Educational Inequity: A Social Justice Concern That Cannot Be Ignored

By Jim Wambach
January 24, 2020 | Read More

Perspectives Article by Jim Wambach, Executive Director Are we able to close the achievement gap – one precious child at a time? Recent standardized testing results indicate that not only are we in the midst of an education crisis, the problem is most acutely felt in our schools serving our most vulnerable students. The educational […]

CareerBridge Internship Opens New Opportunities In Engineering

By Eric Steckel
January 3, 2020 | Read More

Partnership with Boost@BerkeleyHass helps students gain on-the-job experience Corey Reeves came to CareerBridge with big plans for his life. He was an excellent student at San Leandro High School, passionate about volleyball, and he dreamed of being a doctor. “I’m really passionate about learning. I realize that no matter where I go in life, I […]

A Wonderful Year Full of Growth and Change

By Jim Wambach
December 31, 2019 | Read More

We’ve made significant stides during the first year of our four-year inititave We are so grateful for your support over the past 12 months, which have been filled with growth and change. During the first year of our four-year initiative, we have made substantial strides toward serving and empowering more vulnerable children in our neighborhoods. […]

Merry Christmas from Children Rising

By Jim Wambach
December 25, 2019 | Read More

Dear Friends, As we gather ‘round with family and friends this holiday season, we reflect on the gifts we have received. And for many of us, we also take a moment to reflect on those not blessed with the opportunity we so often take for granted. Like the many vulnerable children in our community that […]

“High-Energy” Student Thrives with Individual Attention

By Chelsea Boniak
December 21, 2019 | Read More

Despite initial challenges, Luis learned to read Luis* and his tutor Jean are an unlikely pair. Last school year, Luis was a high-energy second grader. Although very smart, he could hardly sit still and had trouble focusing long enough to learn. Jean moves through life at a slower, more relaxed pace and started the school […]

Vocation – A Personal Calling

By Eric Steckel
December 11, 2019 | Read More

Perspectives article by Eric Steckel, Communications Manager “The old and honorable idea of ‘vocation’ is simply that we each are called, by God, or by our gifts, or by our preference, to a kind of good work for which we are particularly fitted.” — Wendell Berry We frequently say that tutoring a vulnerable child who […]

Happy Thanksgiving from Children Rising

By Jim Wambach
November 28, 2019 | Read More

Dear Friends, As we gather together with our families and friends at Thanksgiving, I am once again struck by what a unique and wonderful holiday this truly is. Gratitude abounds throughout the year. But on this special day, we break bread with our loved ones and share that spirit with one another. Your generosity does […]

I Got “Woke” – An Uncomfortable Truth I Will Not Dismiss

By Jim Wambach
November 27, 2019 | Read More

Perspectives article by Jim Wambach, Executive Director Ring ring the bells Wake the town Everyone is sleeping Shout at the crowd Wake them up This anger’s deeper than sleep – James (band) A few months into my time at Children Rising, as I began to personally get to know the individual children and youth in […]

Just 3 Weeks Left To Help 200 Children SOAR!

By Jim Wambach
November 21, 2019 | Read More

As we embarked on the “I Want To Soar” Project, we set a high bar. Our goal? To provide the opportunity for 200 more second-grade children struggling with grade-level math and reading to SOAR! We have reached the midway point, and are grateful for your response. So far community donations, matched by several major donors, […]

“I Want To Soar” Project

By Jim Wambach
October 24, 2019 | Read More

Right now, there is an education crisis affecting our city’s most vulnerable children. Each year, approximately 1,800 children in the Oakland Unified School District will complete second grade substantially behind in basic reading and math skills. These children will not have the skills required to learn and grow in the third grade. Worse, they will […]

CareerBridge Provides Opportunity For Hadiya To Give Back To Her Community

By Eric Steckel
October 22, 2019 | Read More

One of our greatest hopes is that we can inspire and enable CareerBridge students to give back to the community. Hadiya, a CareerBridge alum and a recipient of our Eddie College Scholarship, is one who is fulfilling that hope! Hadiya joined our program as a junior in high school. She carried herself with poise and […]

Rhema: A Little Girl Who Dreams of a Book In Every Child’s Hands

By Eric Steckel
October 21, 2019 | Read More

I met Rhema and her father, Pastor David Hatfield-Dyels, at the June Hope For Children Now Gala. They were guests of Children Rising board member James Branch. Rhema loves to read — two books a week. “Reading to me is like watching a movie in 3D,” she explains. Inspired to share her love of reading […]

Alicia Lays a Foundation and Learns to Read

By Chelsea Boniak
October 16, 2019 | Read More

When we first met Alicia*, she was a second-grader at La Escuelita Elementary School who had trouble reading at a kindergarten grade level. Alicia built a close relationship with her Succeeding By Reading tutor Janet and told Janet that her mom had gone away. In order to maintain her Spanish skills to communicate with her […]

A ‘Fun-loving’ Child Focuses on Math and Gets Back to Grade-level

By Eric Steckel
October 8, 2019 | Read More

Once you meet Aadae*, you can’t help but agree with her teacher and math tutor’s descriptions of her. Joyful. Full of life. Fun-loving. Very energetic. A people-pleaser. A precocious little girl who can “uplift you.” At the start of her second-grade year, Aadae needed help and fast. She didn’t have the foundational math skills necessary […]

“Can I Really Make a Difference?” YES!

By Jim Wambach
September 30, 2019 | Read More

Perspectives article by Jim Wambach, Executive Director “Children are likely to live up to what you believe of them.” — Lady Bird Johnson, Former First Lady of the United States Another school year begins and many of you are asking yourself that question. You want to help. But you are unsure if you have the […]

7 Reasons CareerBridge Makes Summer Count

By Eric Steckel
September 28, 2019 | Read More

For most students, the end of summer marks the beginning of a new school year. For CareerBridge students, it also marks the end of a summer internship. To celebrate, we host a special event where the students present their final project to family, friends, internship supervisors, and Children Rising staff. This year’s group of interns […]

Children Rising – We Did It!

By Eric Steckel
August 9, 2019 | Read More

We are Children Rising! Last night, Faith Network of the East Bay embarked on an exciting new chapter. After long months of thoughtful consideration, and many more months of planning, we are excited to announce that as of today, we are Children Rising! Many have asked: Why are We changing our name? Simply put, it’s […]

Why Are We Changing Our Name?

By Jim Wambach
August 8, 2019 | Read More

What’s in a name? As we raise the curtain on an exciting next chapter in our story, it’s crucial that our name truly captures the soul of our organization. Simply put – it’s all about empowering more children to rise above the substantial challenges they face, created by generations of poverty, violence, and educational inequity. […]

A Community Member’s Request Launched A Literacy Clinic and Hasleey Learned To Read

By Chelsea Boniak
July 15, 2019 | Read More

Most of our school partnerships are established through word of mouth, and Manzanita Seed is no exception. A community member made a call to Children Rising, advocating for a particular student who was seriously struggling in school. Rebecca Buckley, Succeeding by Reading program director, arranged a meeting with the school and explained that we don’t […]

Children Rising Above Childhood Trauma

By Jim Wambach
July 11, 2019 | Read More

Perspectives article by Jim Wambach, Executive Director “Safety and security don’t just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear.” — Nelson Mandela, Former President of South Africa Toxic stress in children Earlier this […]