Blog

Here’s to renewed hope in 2021!

By Jim Wambach
December 31, 2020

Small acts. Big difference.

Nakoa does math work at his table.

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

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.

I have been encouraged and humbled to see how the disruption all of us are experiencing has softened hearts, and opened so many doors.

The children and youth are more eager than ever for that little bit of extra support they need from you. And they certainly are going to need it this year.

I have also been encouraged and humbled to see how the disruption all of us are experiencing has softened hearts, and opened so many doors. Indeed, we have received hundreds of inquiries from the community regarding volunteer tutoring opportunities. We are so very grateful to all of you. It was so difficult having to say, “We’re not quite ready for you, but stand by. When the time comes, you’ll be needed more than ever!”

The good news is that time is about to start!

Over the past 9 months, our Succeeding by Reading and Path2Math teams have been extremely busy adapting our proven one-on-one tutoring program to online tutoring. And we have been training dozens of our veteran tutors to utilize the new technology and learning tools we have developed.

Training online tutors

Your gifts have helped our dedicated tutors get back to working with the kids through online tutoring.

All of that hard work is about to pay off. With the full introduction of online tutoring, we are now poised to provide more hours of tutoring per child than we have ever done. And we are eager to open online tutoring to many more tutors in the coming weeks and months.

With your tax-deductible gift today, and the roll-out of online tutoring, you will empower many more children, youth, and families in our community to build bridges to a better future this year!

None of this would be possible without your heartfelt support. You are making it possible for caring adults to work with children and youth who just want a fair and equitable chance to succeed in school, and in life.

Thank you for standing by the marginalized in our community. You truly are building bridges of hope in the community. All of us at Children Rising wish you and yours a wonderful, hope-filled 2021!

For the children,

Jim

P.S. Remember, please make your online donation by midnight tonight and receive a tax-deduction for 2020!

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 help fund Children Rising tutoring and mentoring programs to empower more children this year!

Perspectives – Building Bridges To a Better Future

By Jim Wambach
December 29, 2020

“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 children were being tutored by our wonderful Path2Math and Succeeding by Reading volunteers. With the children suddenly at home, the kids in our program, and thousands of other kids, were either unconnected or poorly connected to the internet. They had little hope of seeing their tutors or productively participating in distance learning.

During the summer, the Oakland Unified School District created the #OaklandUndivided campaign with a mission of ensuring every Oakland public school student has a computer, internet connection, and technology support. #OaklandUndivided has made giant strides toward reducing the digital divide and connecting families this year.

This special initiative made it possible for Children Rising to utilize the improved digital connectivity and offer online, one-on-one tutoring in support of the distance learning being provided by OUSD.

Together, we can help thousands of children and youth build bridges to a better future.

We are so excited to once again be with the children! It is a privilege to team with the OUSD elementary school teachers and provide additional support for their extraordinary efforts. Teachers, parents, and children are doing their absolute best under very trying circumstances.

Math student working at computer.

There is an urgent need to help these children catch up and recover. It will likely take years of combined efforts of our educators, parents, and volunteers to do so.

However, it is becoming more clear that thousands of children will lose at least a year of their education before the pandemic subsides. This loss will likely be more pronounced in elementary school-age children living in our lowest income neighborhoods. There is an urgent need to help these children catch up and recover. It will likely take years of combined efforts of our educators, parents, and volunteers to do so.

Together, we can help thousands of children and youth build bridges to a better future. We can let them and their families know they are not alone by providing encouragement and inspiring hope to rise above their many challenges.

Consider joining the Children Rising Legacy Circle, a group of passionate supporters who have created a legacy gift, such as including Children Rising in their will, or making us a beneficiary of their life insurance. For years to come, you will ensure that an elementary school child has a dedicated tutor and friend, or a high school youth has a caring mentor.

 

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!

Amber Found a (Career)Bridge of Hope

By Eric Steckel
December 23, 2020

CareerBridge Intern Amber at Hass School of Business

Amber did not expect to participate in a summer internship this year. Your support of CareerBridge meant that she had a rewarding, nurturing experience.

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 freshman year, is the treasurer of her school’s Mind Wellness Club and Dreamcatchers Club, and participates in both the Debate Club and Scholarship Club.

However, it has not always been easy for Amber. As a first-generation Mexican-American, she carries the burden of being the first generation of her family who will graduate high school and aspire to a college education. Her parents encourage her, but it can be hard for them to understand the stress she feels to succeed in school, and manage time with her many activities.

She also feels pressure from what she describes as imposter syndrome. In 2019, she won a scholarship to participate in a prestigious summer program. “I just felt so out of place,” she confessed. “There were a lot of things that all the other students knew right away. I just felt so behind. Now looking back at it, I should’ve just asked for help, but it made me feel not very smart.”

“I never realized that knowledge opens up opportunities to not only succeed in life, but also grow as a person. I feel like CareerBridge has allowed me to do that in many ways.”

Although the experience made her nervous to participate in a CareerBridge summer internship, she was thankful for the opportunity. “I had so many plans, and most of them got canceled,” she said. “While all the other internships had to say, ‘You know what? We just have to close. I guess it’s not happening.’ CareerBridge was saying, ‘Okay, how are we going to do this now online?’” Amber was so grateful that she had an opportunity to learn job skills, and receive a stipend for her hard work, something she feels is often overlooked. “That’s a resource that CareerBridge offers that’s very important and it allows CareerBridge to be open to more people.”

CareerBridge Inter Amber volunteers as a poll worker

CareerBridge encourages youth to give back to their community. Amber volunteered as an election poll worker in November.

CareerBridge opened her eyes to so many opportunities. Due to the constraints imposed by COVID-19, the entire internship was conducted through a wide variety of online workshops and projects. The cohort learned about transportation jobs from Caltrans and BART, mind wellness through a workshop presented by Kylie Walsh Osteo, and started a small business, Heart2Heart Greeting Cards. Best of all, she has carried what she has learned into the school year and is applying it to help others.

“Towards the beginning of the school year, my friend was telling me about how everyone was feeling stressed,” Amber explained. “She said she wanted to start a Mind Wellness Club, and she asked me if I wanted to be a part of it. Of course, I said, ‘Yes.’ I feel like the things I learned in Ms. Kylie’s workshop, I wanted all the people in the club to learn as well.”

She also feels optimistic about her future career, even if she doesn’t have any firm plans. “I’ve never had one career in mind,” she admitted. “CareerBridge made me feel like, okay, there’s a lot of opportunities out there and there are options for me.”

Your gift today helps eager youth realize their dreams of a fulfilling career.

 I am interested in Children Rising mentoring and tutoring programs. Tell me more!

 I want to help fund Children Rising mentoring and tutoring programs.

(Video) A message of hope from Children Rising

By Jim Wambach
December 22, 2020

2021, building bridges to a better future!

Jim and children at 2019 holiday party.

We can’t wait to get back to tutoring and mentoring our kids in January, online. We truly miss the one-on-one interaction!

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 struggling child is reached by a caring community at a critical time in their life to nurture hope, the courage to dream, and the opportunity to thrive.

Heading into the new year, the challenges are more significant than ever, but we are thankful that your commitment to that vision will not diminish.

Please make a gift before the end of the year, so that children, youth, and their families may rise above the challenges they face.

To spread a little of the cheer and optimism we are feeling today, the entire Children Rising team came together to share this special year-end message with you.

Thank you for empowering children and youth to build bridges to a better future.

Your gift today will support our all-new online tutoring program. Pairing an eager student with a caring tutor to receive one-on-one support and mentoring in reading or math continues our proven method of closing the resource gap, one precious child at a time.

If you are able, and haven’t yet made a donation, or would like to provide another gift, please give before the end of the year.

We can’t wait to get back to tutoring and mentoring our kids in January. You will ensure that children in need of a little extra support will be empowered to succeed in school this year, and beyond.

For the children,

Jim

PS: There is no better time to teach, mentor, and nourish the children in your community. Please make your tax-deductible gift by December 31st, online or by check.


Your gift today empowers eager children and youth to build bridges to a better future!

 I am interested in Children Rising mentoring and tutoring programs. Tell me more!

 I want to help fund Children Rising mentoring and tutoring programs.

What Will Your Legacy Be?

By Chelsea
December 21, 2020

Nurturing and Empowering Generations of Children

What will your legacy be?

Children Rising Legacy Circle members are investing in the future of our community by empowering our children — now and for years to come — to rise above the challenges created by decades of poverty, educational inequity, and deeply rooted racial injustice.

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 a whole person, body, mind, and spirit.
  • A city whose future shines brighter, one precious child at a time.

With a leap of faith, our founder Randy Roth left behind 30 years of pastoral ministry to make that vision a reality. Led by a spirit of servanthood and community engagement, Randy teamed with local school and community leaders to understand how to best support the teachers, the children, and their families. The Children Rising community enablement model was born!

A Generational Impact In Our Community

Randy retired after 15 years of tirelessly inspiring and guiding a community’s love for improving the lives of thousands of children in need. You can ensure that his original vision continues to bear fruit today and long into the future.

By becoming a Children Rising Legacy Circle member, you ensure a future where we can pair eager young learners with a caring adult. Legacy Circle members are passionate supporters who, through creating a legacy gift, will instill hope and promise in our community for future generations. There are many ways to give, such as including Children Rising in your will, or making us a beneficiary of your life insurance.

Will you invest in the future of our community by empowering our children — now and for years to come — to rise above the challenges created by decades of poverty, educational inequity, and deeply rooted racial injustice?

Chelsea Boniak

Chelsea Boniak, Development Director

For more information about how to create your legacy gift, please contact:
Chelsea Boniak, Development Director, at (510) 836-5100 or email at chelsea@children-rising.org.

What will your legacy be?

 I want to learn more about the Children Rising Legacy Circle!

Introducing Path2Math Anywhere

By Jim Wambach
December 21, 2020

Online tutoring helps children in need of a little extra support

Online Tutoring

Online tutoring is helping children who need a little extra support get back to grade level.

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 students, working alongside a caring tutor, typically advance two or more grade levels, catch up with classmates, develop self-confidence, and gain a much fairer chance of success in school and in life. Our program teams worked tirelessly over the summer and into early fall to design a child-centered, online tutoring model to meet the needs of our local elementary school children.

Our new math online tutoring program, Path2Math Anywhere, provides fun new tools and an engaging online math workbook for the children and tutors. The kids quickly learned how to use their online workbook, and love how it rewards them for their progress. The children are willing and able to stay engaged for the 45-50 minute tutoring session — not an easy task for a seven or eight-year old child.

At this critical time in the children’s lives, we wanted to say, “You haven’t seen us in school for a while, but we’re still here for you.”

In addition to providing foundational numeracy and common core math skills, there is a considerable upside to our new online tutoring capability. Each student can use their online workbook to practice anytime throughout the week, providing another learning resource at home. Online homework can be difficult for a second-grader and we now have the ability to view and assist with homework assignments during the tutoring session. Our online tutoring program also provides more robust and accurate student progress reporting, which better guides each tutor while providing important learning updates to teachers and families.

Group online tutors

Our dedicated tutors can’t wait to get back to working with the kids through online tutoring.

At this critical time in the children’s lives, we wanted to say, “You haven’t seen us in school for a while, but we’re still here for you.”

As we tutor online, the kids thrive on the personal attention and care of each tutor. We are seeing the early evidence of wonderful relationships developing between the tutors and the children once again this year — and we even learned how to “camera high-five” thanks to one of our kids! These relationships are as important as improving academic skills. As each tutor provides a safe and caring environment, children gain confidence in their abilities — and in themselves.

Our mission is to empower these amazing children, and we are finding additional opportunities to support both them and their family during this extraordinarily challenging time. We would like to share a couple of early experiences we’ve been blessed with through online tutoring.

Damarcus - online tutoring

At a time when many students are falling further behind, your support of our all-new online tutoring is helping Demarcus and his family.

Demarcus

Demarcus* is an extremely smart second-grader who is excited about his weekly tutoring sessions, and usually signs in for tutoring early. His mother is visually impaired, making it difficult for her to help Demarcus with his daily homework assignments. Demarcus was 17 lessons behind and she asked if we could help him with his homework during our tutoring session. Of course the answer was yes!

Demarcus’s internet access was very slow, making it difficult for him to interact online. His mom had not yet requested a free “hot-spot” from OUSD, so we contacted Demarcus’s school and a free internet hotspot was immediately provided. The school also provided a set of headphones so Demarcus could better hear and concentrate during his school lessons and his tutoring sessions.

With internet difficulties out of the way, Demarcus had a much easier time interacting with his tutor and reviewing his homework together. It became obvious that Demarcus understood his homework and was ready and willing to be challenged with more difficult math concepts.

Nakoa - Onlne tutoring

Your support of Path2Math Anywhere ensures that Nakoa does not lose the progress he worked so hard to achieve.

Nakoa

Nakoa* is a returning Path2Math student who we profiled in our September newsletter story about the COVID-19 Family Relief Program.

Nakoa has participated in several tutoring sessions and is doing very well. When he signs on to Zoom, he and his tutor Reto typically take a little time to get to know one another. They talk about their favorite foods, or favorite part of the day, or their family. Then they get to work. Nakoa is very comfortable doing the tutoring sessions online, and has no problem staying focused doing math exercises. And he thrives on receiving the medals awarded after each successfully completed segment.

* Names changed to protect the identity of the students

 

Your $250 gift will pair a second-grade child with a personal tutor for the remainder of the academic year!

 I am interested in online tutoring. Tell me more!

 I want help fund Children Rising tutoring and mentoring programs.