Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf Sees Bridges of Hope for Oakland Children
By Eric Steckel | June 1, 2021
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.
Building Bridges of Hope: Opportunity and Challenge
“What a perfect theme for this year’s gala, Bridges of Hope. I can’t think of anything more apropos to the year 2021,” she told our audience. “Our children need us now more than ever.”
Since schools closed their doors in March 2020, the achievement gap in schools serving our lowest-income communities has widened. But like many of us, Mayor Schaaf sees signs of hope as COVID-19 cases drop and we cautiously move forward and schools begin to reopen. “We know that our children will never get that year of learning back. We also know that nothing is more impactful in the life of a child than a caring adult. Children Rising has been providing those caring adults in such an impactful way to the children and families of Oakland for 20 years.”
Mayor Schaaf also reminded us of another bridge of hope: overcoming the digital divide. The Oakland Undivided Campaign, a partnership between the Mayor’s office of education, Oakland Unified School District (OUSD), the Oakland Public Education Fund and Tech Exchange, made dramatic strides toward closing the digital divide. Online tutoring is made possible by student access to technology and provides long-term enrichment to our proven one-on-one programs.
“By moving more of your tutoring to an online format, you not only can reach more children, but can also engage more volunteers, more caring adults, more impactful mentors. That is our opportunity and our challenge.”
She urged caring members of the community to help. “With more online opportunities and the amazing connection that only a mentoring relationship can give you, you and your friends will be so glad that you have gotten involved as a volunteer or a tutor for Children Rising.”
We thank Mayor Schaaf for her commitment to educational equity in our community schools, and her unwavering focus in empowering children and youth to rise to their God-given potential.