education Blog

Thank You, Community of Learners

Explore the series "Stories of Gratitude" about the people who inspire our work.  

We are grateful for what is possible when a school community comes together to support children and families.

What are three words you’d use to describe the Allendale school community? 

Possibility, community, support.

How is this school community vital to the work we are doing?


Andrea Bradford works one-on-one with students to boost their early literacy skills. Photo credit: Stephanie Secrest

Under the leadership of Charles Miller, Allendale, located in East Oakland, has become a school where children have multiple years—from early childhood to fifth grade—of opportunity to learn and build enthusiasm and relationships.
At Allendale there is a culture with:

  • Positive relationships between adults and children.
  • Excellent academics—last year the school had a 10% gain in math proficiency!
  • Ways to manage stress and conflict—Allendale has zero suspensions or expulsions.
  • A welcoming place for neighborhood families with children birth to five years old, thanks to Lotus Bloom playgroups.
  • Opportunities to learn in the summer for families, children and teachers through Springboard Collaborative.
  • One-on-one help for struggling readers with volunteers from Reading Partners.
  • Support for teachers through their new literacy coach focused on transitional kindergarten to first grade.
  • Participation in the Oakland Promise K2College scholarship program.
“Allendale, a school with strong principal and teacher leadership and positive culture, is really showing what committed educators can do when they focus on student mastery of standards and improved student supports to meet high expectations.”– Antwan Wilson, Superintendent, Oakland Unified School District

How does this school community help you overcome barriers and reach your goal?


Young children gain important language development skills in the Lotus Bloom program at Allendale.

Allendale provides support across the birth to 8 continuum. It offers the Rainin Foundation the opportunity to see the full potential of our partnerships and investments. Through Allendale, we are investing in the adults who love and teach children every day, and the result is that children are unlocking their learning potential.

What does success look like with the Allendale school community?

Children are kindergarten ready, and reading at or above grade level by third grade. That their success persists throughout their school experience, they graduate ready for college and career, and they feel a part of a community that values them.

What does the future look like?

Growth and opportunity for Oakland children.

by Gary Yee, Former Superintendent, Oakland Unified School District

On a recent visit to Allendale School, in the heart of East Oakland, I was struck by the visible presence of the Kenneth Rainin Foundation’s investments in infant, preschool and primary education. Shortly after I became interim superintendent for the Oakland Public Schools, I challenged the Rainin Foundation to choose a spot and commit holistically. That spot was Allendale, and I could see the results three years later. Continue reading.

Stories of Gratitude: The People Who Inspire Our Work

Top photo: Patience Nwadugbo, Early Common Core Teacher Leader; Nancy Lee, SEEDS transitional kindergarten teacher; and Andrea Bradford, transitional kindergarten tutor. Photo credit: Stephanie Secrest

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