education Blog

A Breakthrough Moment in Early Childhood Education

The Kenneth Rainin Foundation is proud to share Breakthrough Moments of our visionary artists, innovative researchers and partners in early childhood education.

Our new video shares the inspiring story of Melvin Tamoro, a tutor in our SEEDS of Learning program. Melvin is an expert at getting kids excited to learn. By using SEEDS of Learning strategies, like one-on-one and small group instruction, he helps children gain key skills needed for kindergarten. Watch our video and see how much kids at East Oakland’s Sankofa Academy love learning with Melvin!

We’re sharing Melvin’s story to celebrate International Literacy Day, September 8. We honor all our partners in early childhood education who are unlocking potential in our youngest learners.

Helping Oakland Children Flourish

Today, three in five Oakland students enter kindergarten without the skills they need to succeed. But, after one year in our SEEDS of Learning classrooms, children make dramatic progress. In fact, last year 97% of transitional kindergartners in our classrooms ended the year at or near targets that measure kindergarten readiness. Oakland teachers and tutors, like Melvin, are the reason for this exciting transformation.

“97% of transitional kindergartners in our SEEDS of Learning classrooms ended the year at or near targets that measure kindergarten readiness.”

SEEDS of Learning is a professional development program that strengthens instructional leadership and improves curriculum. It includes classroom tutors and coaching support for teachers. The Rainin Foundation has implemented this program in nearly 60 Oakland schools to boost literacy and language development progress. As a result, teachers and tutors are accelerating progress for children. Together, we are giving Oakland’s kids a better chance of success in school—and, most importantly, in life.

Stories like Melvin’s illustrate how in a single moment, the world can change, especially for a student and a teacher. These are the Breakthrough Moments that provide inspiration to the Rainin Foundation’s funding in the Arts, Education and Health. See more videos of our grantees Breakthrough Moments.


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