Blog

Online Tutoring vs. Distance Learning

By Eric Steckel
October 19, 2020

Using technology to enhance our one-on-one tutoring

Mother and daughter participate in online tutoring

Your support enabled us to develop Succeeding by Reading Anywhere and Path2Math Anywhere – online learning tools and processes – in order to overcome the challenges of the COVID-19 disruption to in-person tutoring at school locations.

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 learning.”

We realized that while we understand what we’re building for the children, parents, tutors, and teachers, the terminology we use is important. And if we struggle with terminology, our children, parents, tutors, and teachers are going to struggle.

We decided to dissect a couple terms that we use to describe what we are creating for our schools.

Distance Learning
“Distance learning, also called distance education, e-learning, and online learning, is a form of education in which the main elements include physical separation of teachers and students during instruction and the use of various technologies to facilitate student-teacher and student-student communication. Distance learning traditionally has focused on nontraditional students, such as full-time workers, military personnel, and nonresidents or individuals in remote regions who are unable to attend classroom lectures.” (https://www.britannica.com/topic/distance-learning)

Distance learning is the umbrella term encompassing the different tools, techniques, and processes. With the advent of the internet, distance learning has grown, and is a significant part of the education system. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, some form of distance learning has been adopted by school districts throughout the United States. Remote learning would be synonymous with distance learning.

Man tutoring a child through online tutoring.

Our tutors have missed seeing the children and are eager to get back to online tutoring this year.

Online Tutoring
Online tutoring is the use of online, digital tools to provide tutoring to students. It is a subset of distance learning.

Children Rising programs are designed first and foremost to provide one-on-one tutoring for children. We recently developed Succeeding by Reading Anywhere and Path2Math Anywhere – online learning tools and processes – in order to overcome the challenges of the COVID-19 disruption to in-person tutoring at school locations.

Without COVID-19, we would not have developed online tutoring at this time. However, we are very glad we now have it, and see it as part of an exciting program enhancement. In particular, it will help accelerate learning due to the integration of family support at home. Together, we can ensure a much fairer chance for the children to achieve their God-given potential in the years ahead.

YES, I CAN help a promising child eager to learn.

 I am interested in online tutoring. Tell me more!

 I want help fund Children Rising tutoring and mentoring programs.

A Community Comes Together – For the Children

By Jim Wambach
October 13, 2020

“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 children, scrambled to provide distance learning overnight. All of us who work with the children all year greatly missed seeing them and had an overwhelming sense of helplessness.

As the enormity of the COVID-19 challenge became more apparent, there were more questions than answers. How were the schools going to continue to support the critically important meal programs? How will our educators, tasked with understanding the moving target of COVID-19, plan for the fall? How will the thousands of children without a computer or internet connectivity participate in distance learning? How will programs like Children Rising’s in-school tutoring programs reach the thousands of children that were falling further and further behind? Nelson Mandela once said, “It always seems impossible until it’s done”.

“The Oakland community compassionately came together for the children and is working hard for their recovery from this pandemic.”

The amazing Oakland community proved Mandela was correct by coming together for the children – fueled by volunteers. Individuals and companies provided funding to close the digital divide, ensuring every OUSD student had their own computer and an internet connection. The schools, with the help of many new volunteers, distributed all of the meals the children would normally have received in school – all the way through the summer! The Alameda County Community Food Bank, supported by hundreds of volunteers, provided food to thousands of families and people who were out of work due to COVID-19. Nonprofits, including Children Rising, created ways to immediately help families financially, while fully adapting their programs to support the children in the new academic year. Faith communities and volunteers who were supporting in-school programs before the pandemic offered to learn new ways to help the children.

Nakoa playing Basketball

You stepped up as part of our amazing Oakland community, proving that the impossible can be done.

As Henry Ford said: “Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success”. The Oakland community compassionately came together for the children and is working hard for their recovery from this pandemic. All of us at Children Rising are inspired to be a part of this wonderful community, and it is a privilege to do our part as we all rise to the challenge.

YES, I CAN help a promising child develop academic and life skills at a critical time in their life!

 I want to learn more about online reading or math clinics to see if tutoring is right for me!

 I want help fund Children Rising tutoring and mentoring programs!

Library Services – Adapting to the New Normal

By Pearl
October 12, 2020

Library Services Summer 2020 - Kim Farnham-Flom

Your support of library services ensured that each student at Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School had books to read over the summer.

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 the children’s homework packets in the early days of distance learning. These new books were purchased in partnership with the Oakland/Piedmont chapter of the American Association of University Women.

Traditional in-person readings in the MLK library were immediately replaced with book reading videos that were recorded by some of the Children Rising library volunteers. Experienced reader and amateur actor Elmer Strasser recorded The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe in a series of videos for the children that they could access and watch from home during the early days of shelter in place. A wonderful example can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/YtR_PA_sNQ0

With a continued focus on providing the kids more books to read, the Library Services team gave away an additional 400 books on school registration day in August. Volunteers continue to provide live storytime sessions for families and will organize book giveaways as opportunities allow. The kids love to read and the more books they have available to read, and the more books that are read to them, the faster their reading skills will advance. Later this year, we hope to facilitate online book and internet research groups, while we continue to circulate as many additional books to the children as possible.

YES, I CAN help a promising child learn to read!

 I am interested in online tutoring. Tell me more!

 I want help fund Children Rising tutoring and mentoring programs.

 

CareerBridge Students Thrive in Distance Summer Internships

By Eric Steckel
October 9, 2020

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.

CareerBridge Summer 2020

You helped eager youth learn vital career and life lessons through CareerBridge.

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 other community partners, CareerBridge students participated in online workshops focusing on diverse workplace topics such as finance, accounting, product development, marketing, leadership, and more. They applied what they learned and created their very own business — Heart2Heart, “Greeting Cards to Inspire.” Despite never being in the same place at the same time, they set up a business, designed a line of greeting cards, and brought them to market, all in a summer!

“It was a challenge, but we knew it was an important skill they needed to learn, especially in these times of distance learning and distance employment,” said Margena Wade-Green, CareerBridge program director.
“These skills will help them adapt to their future endeavors, distance or not. The students thrived using tools like Zoom, collaborating as teams, and discovering new uses for our resources. They learned how to react under difficult circumstances. These are vital career and life lessons, and we couldn’t be prouder of our team.”

A few of our interns shared their experiences and observations.

Malik, CareerBridge Internship

Community partners and businesses are providing summer internship oportunities, paving the way for Malik to pursue a career in architectural engineering.

Malik

I’m a rising junior at Jesse Bethel HS and recently joined the Caltrans internship with CareerBridge. I will be an architectural engineer in the future, but until I started working with CareerBridge, I wasn’t sure where to begin. It helped me understand that there are many places to start and many different jobs from which to choose. That helped me focus my vision for the future. This summer has been challenging, but I was able to keep busy and continue learning with CareerBridge. Communication has been the biggest challenge. I’m usually a very social person, but distancing has given me some trouble. I am really glad all of the interns have such a wide set of communication skills and accountability. Each one of us strived to make this year’s internship succeed, pushing past wifi, time management, and family issues. CareerBridge has taught me that with hard work and dedication, I can accomplish anything. My journey these past weeks has been very fruitful, and I am very thankful.

“It helped me understand that there are many places to start and many different jobs from which to choose. That helped me focus my vision for the future.” – Malik

Sabine

Sabine - CareerBridge Internship

You are helping Sabine find a career that speaks to her and that she loves.

My CareerBridge summer internship experience has been really great. Even through Zoom, and the uncertainty COVID-19 has brought to our lives, I made a lot of real connections, and learned so much. CareerBridge taught me financial literacy, professionalism, the importance of equal opportunity, conflict resolution, marketing, leadership, and so much more. These skills are extremely important in college and choosing a career, and I’m really glad I got the opportunity to learn in such a helpful environment. Ms. Margena, Ms. Michelle, Ms. Meca, and all the other interns are such amazing people I’m blessed to have spent time with and discussed important topics with. Through my time at CareerBridge, I realized the importance of finding a career that speaks to me and that I love. I also learned many skills I need in order to get the job of my dreams, which I will always be thankful for.

“Through my time at CareerBridge, I realized the importance of finding a career that speaks to me and that I love.” – Sabine

Daniel

Daniel - CareerBridge Internship

Your support of the CareerBridge summer internship program will help Daniel realize his ambition to be a software engineer.

My summer internship experience with CareerBridge has been astonishing so far. I received a lot of support from the staff and my fellow colleagues. This was my very first internship/job, and I struggled to find the right balance between work life and my personal life. Working from home gave me a lot of flexibility, although I often got interrupted by my family members. At the same time, I was able to become more disciplined. My favorite part of the internship was working with real professionals. They gave many insights into what it’s like to work at a particular department at Caltrans. We covered many topics, in particular social justice. I believe it’s important due to the current situation our country and the world is facing. I really appreciate CareerBridge for this opportunity because it exposed me to opportunities in the workforce. I hope to realize my ambition to be a software engineer in the future.

“My favorite part of the internship was working with real professionals. They gave many insights into what it’s like to work at a particular department at Caltrans.” – Daniel

Your support of CareerBridge has made it possible for 20 eager youth to learn vital career and life lessons. We are so proud of their hard work and dedication. If you want to support CareerBridge, here are a few ways you can help an enterprising youth!

YES, I CAN help an enterprising youth learn vital career and life lessons.

 I want to order Heart2Heart Greeting Cards!

 I want help fund Children Rising online tutoring and mentoring programs to empower more children this year.

Heart2Heart Greeting Cards by CareerBridge

By Eric Steckel
October 8, 2020

Student designs spread love, inspiration, encouragement, and a smile

Heart2Heart Greeting Cards Logo

Your support of CareerBridge inspired Heart2Heart Greeting Cards, a student-conceived business that helps youth learn valuable career skills like organizing, team building, leadership, individual growth, and so much more.

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 and entrepreneurial opportunities to East Bay high school students. Students are encouraged and inspired to explore their career interests while building academic and professional skills, all wrapped in a holistic approach.

Heart2Heart is a CareerBridge business venture conceived of by the students. Together they came up with the business idea and a business plan. Over the course of the summer internship, they developed product and branding, created a marketing plan, and implemented accounting and sales transaction processes. Along the way, they learned valuable career skills like organizing, team building, leadership, individual growth, and so much more.

“Our goal is to spread love, inspiration, encouragement, and a smile.”

Heart2Heart Greeting Cards - Team

Heart2Heart Greeting Cards, designed, developed, and sold by CareerBridge students, “spread love, inspiration, encouragement, and a smile.”

Heart2Heart’s business plan includes using a portion of the proceeds to send greeting cards to sick and shut in citizens, patients at Children’s Hospital, and other health care facilities.

Each card has a special quote chosen by students on one side, and the reverse side remains blank so you may add your personal expressions.

Your support will allow Heart2Heart to keep sharing the good cheer.

Order Heart2Heart Greeting Cards TODAY!

CLICK HERE TO ORDER

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

By Eric Steckel
October 2, 2020

Nakoa does online math tutoring work at his table.


Your gifts in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic have provided Nakoa additional learning resources – and online math tutoring – so that he can retain what he has learned.

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 instruction from school.

Last year, Nakoa was behind his classmates in math, and was enrolled in Path2Math. Working with Michelle Hutcherson, he was making very good progress until COVID-19 struck. Although we could no longer meet with Nakoa for weekly tutoring, Ms. Cheryl, his grandmother, was very happy to receive math worksheets and a Safeway gift card as part of our COVID-19 Family Relief Program. “I am not a teacher, and he doesn’t respond to me like he responds to his teachers,” she explained. “I was just happy for any resources that would help Nakoa because I don’t want him to fall behind.”

Nakoa has his own workspace at the dining table with his computer, pencils, and pens. He likes his setup. It motivates him, and he’s done well so far with distance learning. “Unfortunately, there’s just not enough of it yet. He needs structure,” Ms. Cheryl explained.

“I was just happy for any resources that would help Nakoa, because I don’t want him to fall behind.” – Cheryl Edwards, Nakoa’s grandmother

Nakoa playing Basketball

Like an entire generation of school children, Nakoa’s been stuck at home, unable to see his friends, and sorely missing the structure and instruction from school.

Recalling the packets of math worksheets Nakoa received over the summer, she reached out to Children Rising last month. Steve Nation, the Path2Math program coordinator at Nakoa’s school, immediately sent the family some additional math worksheets to help. While it seems like a small gesture, Ms. Cheryl was uplifted to know there were resources to help her.

“I was just so impressed that Children Rising followed up. I’d love to get Nakoa additional resources, but I’m so thankful.”

Nakoa and his grandmother are not alone. There are so many eager students in need of a little extra guidance, support, and individual attention. The Path2Math and Succeeding by Reading teams are working tirelessly to adapt and enhance our proven one-on-one tutoring programs to incorporate online learning functionality.

Nakoa’s school will be part of our online math tutoring program this year. At the request of his principal, we plan to enroll Nakoa and others in his class, continuing where we left off when shelter-in-place orders went into effect. With his enthusiasm to learn and the guidance of his caring tutor, we look forward to Nakoa getting back to grade level in math this year.

YES, I CAN help a promising child eager to learn.

 I am interested in online tutoring. Tell me more!

 I want help fund Children Rising tutoring and mentoring programs.

 

*Name changed to maintain confidentiality