Blog

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

By Jim Wambach
March 26, 2021

“The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.” —William James

Jim Wambach - Executive DirectorThis 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, left behind 30 years of pastoral ministry to create the Children Rising community enablement model. He was driven by a simple premise: uplift the community by creating opportunities for individuals to empower one child at a time.

You embrace our mission to nurture and equip children and youth to rise above the challenges created by generations of poverty, violence, and educational inequity.

How can you ensure this legacy for our children?

As we look forward to the next 20 years, Children Rising envisions a time when we will reach many more children and youth. As you have seen from the stories we have shared, we continue to develop and cultivate strong partnerships with our local educators and strive to provide better, more holistic services. By continuing to actively listen to the needs of our community schools and the families we serve, we will position ourselves to act immediately and effectively when we see opportunities to innovate and do more for the children.

“A healthy community is one where everyone lifts up their neighbor. Our vision makes it possible for many more members of our community to empower children, youth, and families to build bridges to a better future.”

Thank you for embracing Randy’s vision to uplift our community by empowering one child at a time.

Randy believed that a healthy community is one where everyone lifts up their neighbor. Our vision makes it possible for many more members of our community to empower children, youth, and families to build bridges to a better future. Our dream is to provide thousands of volunteers with the necessary tools and skills while sharing their wisdom and love with the kids for a sustained period of time. For it is through relationships between a caring adult and a child where real-life transformation happens, for both the student and a neighbor wanting to reach out a helping hand.

Our work here is not complete. With a shared vision and a clear focus, we can leave a lasting legacy in our community.

PS: We want to hear from you. Please return our connection survey by mail, or complete it online at www.children-rising.org/connection-survey

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!

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

By Eric Steckel
March 25, 2021

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.

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 are still challenges.

Children Rising recently launched Succeeding by Reading Anywhere at La Escuelita Elementary School in Oakland. Ms. Debra*, a second-grade teacher, shared that it has been harder to get to know her students this year “…because it’s all online. I’ve only met them in person a couple of times.” She also pointed out that it is harder than ever to find one-on-one time with students.

“Sometimes they just need that little bit of extra watering so they can flower and bloom.” — Ms. Debra

Adelyn* and Enrique* are cousins who are both in Ms. Debra’s class. The two bright, eager children were recently paired with a trained, one-on-one reading tutor. “I can tell they are both very bright,” Ms. Debra said. “Sometimes they just need that little bit of extra watering so they can flower and bloom.”

While it is too early to measure tangible results, our conversations with Ms. Debra, as well as Adelyn and Enrique’s family and tutors, give us confidence that online tutoring will play a role in getting kids to read at grade level, now and in the future. Having seen the impact of one-on-one tutoring over the past several years, Ms. Debra is confident that “…they will come back to the classroom with more confidence in their skills.”

Adelyn

Your support of Adelyn and Enrique will empower them to “…come back to the classroom with more confidence in their skills.”

Adelyn is an active seven-year-old girl who loves to learn new things. “But right now she’s struggling with distance learning because it’s hard for her to focus at home.” explained her mother, Brenda. “She gets a little distracted when her teacher is teaching, she starts spacing out.”

Adelyn began working with Mr. George, a seasoned reading tutor, two weeks ago. “She was shy at first, which was no surprise as we are not together in person. But at the end of the first session she warmed up.” said Mr. George.

Full of youthful energy, Adelyn is often a blur of motion on the screen during her tutoring sessions. However, she was dialed in to Mr. George, followed along with the online reading games, and even smiled and patted herself on the back when told that she had done well on a difficult exercise. “That was the first time I encouraged a child to pat themselves on the back,” he explained. “It seemed like a good way to get her engaged.” And it worked.

Adelyn’s mother is thankful for the extra attention. She shared that it has been difficult for Adelyn to complete all her homework assignments. “If she has any questions, she won’t come to me for help. I hope that she’s more open and confident with her tutor.” This has been a familiar concern and one that our online program capability can address. Students in need of additional homework support can get extra time with their tutors outside of the classroom time.

Enrique

Enrique is a sensitive, caring little boy who absolutely loves playing video games. Although he claims to “love distance learning”, he gets extremely distracted by the video screen and tempted to play games. Like all of the other children in the program, Enrique currently reads substantially below grade level. His Aunt Brenda hopes that through working one on one with his tutor Miss Marge, he will be able to catch up to his peers in reading.

“He’s not reading much,” Aunt Brenda shared. “When he’s at the computer, he would rather be playing video games.”

With the support and encouragement of a one-on-one tutor, Enrique engages and willingly participates in every task asked of him,” Miss Marge reports. “Each week, he seems to breeze through something that was giving him trouble the week before.”

Getting a child’s attention and encouraging them to try and learn new things “…is a difference-maker,” Aunt Brenda told me. “Ms. Debra has limited time, and extra one-on-one time is going to really help Enrique catch up.”

Work to be done
Eager young readers like Adelyn and Enrique have missed a significant amount of time in class. Through Succeeding by Reading Anywhere’s online tutoring, you are helping them to catch up on missed opportunities. We look forward to following their progress and sharing that with you in the months to come.

* Names changed to protect the identity of the students

Your $100 equips 4 second-graders with the necessary books, technology, and supplies needed for a year of tutoring.

 

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!

In Memory of Marilyn Williams

By Children Rising
March 12, 2021

Marilyn Williams had a heart for teaching, opening the world of reading to our highest-need students. She will be sorely missed by our entire team.

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 students learned the “Short Vowel Song” from her, and they would sing it together frequently! Her background as a kindergarten teacher gave her many insights into the work we do with struggling readers, and she was generous in sharing them with all of us. Despite battling illness, Marilyn continued tutoring faithfully throughout her treatment. We offer our heartfelt thoughts and prayers to Marilyn’s family. Peace be to her memory.