Community Based Organizations and School Grants

The Rainin Foundation seeks to ensure that all children in Oakland develop the social, emotional, and cognitive skills they need to be ready for kindergarten and to become successful readers by third grade. We take a collaborative approach, working with community based organizations and schools to provide literacy supports for children, birth to 8 years old, and their families.

Aspire Public SchoolsCastlemont Community Transformation SchoolsCommunity School for Creative Education, Education for ChangeOakland Unified School District (OUSD) and Urban Montessori ($422,912) to support SEEDS of Learning, an evidence-based professional development program for teachers, that includes classroom tutor resources and ongoing coaching support. Funding will benefit 51 transitional kindergarten classrooms.

Education for Change & Oakland Unified School District ($2 million) to support 15 elementary schools. School leaders, teachers and coaches will work intensively to boost instruction in transitional kindergarten to first grade. As a learning community, one of the key goals is to strengthen Oakland’s understanding of effective long-term, sustainable strategies that will result in all children reading successfully by third grade.


Andrea Bradford is a transitional kindergarten tutor at Allendale Elementary.

Literacy Lab ($375,343) to provide transitional kindergarten and preschool classrooms, and Faith-based organizations with family engagement early learning programs. These programs include: LitTab (eReaders), take home books, parent/caregiver workshops, and a new texting service designed to share ongoing and interactive early learning and school readiness content with parents/caregivers. Funding will also support a collaboration project with ideas42 to develop methods of maximizing parent and caregiver engagement in Literacy Lab’s LitTab program.

Oakland Public Library ($55,000) to support the Oakland Public Library’s Children’s Literacy Programming Fund, which supports early literacy and promotes a love of reading through a range of services, with a focus on initiatives that create access to books (e.g., summer reading, winter bingo, books for wider horizons, and Share the Love outreach distribution).

Oakland Unified School District ($66,000) to support a Research Associate position that will focus on pre-kindergarten to third grade alignment of educational programs, student outcomes through data, and continuous improvement of early literacy strategies district-wide.

An early childhood literacy event at Allen Temple Baptist Church in Oakland with support from Literacy Lab.

Opportunity Institute (Too Small to Fail) ($25,000) to support the distribution of Talk, Read, Sing materials to 2,800 families with young children ages 0-3, via Oakland clinics. Emphasis will be placed on children 0-1 at the time of delivery and the well child checkup so that messaging can get to families as early as possible.

Reach out and Read ($95,000) to support maintaining delivery of Reach out and Read’s early literacy program at 18 clinics in Oakland. Pediatricians are trained to speak with families during well child visits about the importance of reading aloud and  interacting with their children. Families also receive a free book at each visit, resulting in the distribution of 22,000 books.

Reading Partners ($100,000) to enroll and serve 750 Oakland students, at 16 district and charter schools, in twice weekly 45-minute literacy tutoring sessions. Reading Partner tutors will work with children and follow a reading plan tailored to each child’s particular needs and strengths.

Roses in Concrete Community School ($101,462) to develop a data analytics system that triangulates: community-specific “Indicators of Impact” (III); teacher effectiveness (TEN); and classic academic indicators (CA State Achievement data). Funding will allow development of an index to track often ignored early indicators (pre-conditions) of social and academic engagement (i.e. esteem, relationships, self-discipline and cultural identity). Data will be used to design teacher growth plans and to measure the impacts of teacher development on teacher performance and student outcomes.

spring board class room

Photo courtesy of Springboard Collaborative

Springboard – Summer Collaborative ($300,000) for a five-week summer school program with daily reading instruction for 1,740 rising kingergarten to fourth grade students at 18 district and charter schools; includes weekly workshops that train parents to teach reading at home, teacher professional development and coaching, and home visits.

Springboard Collaborative – Afterschool ($100,000) to support the pilot of an intensive afterschool program that will provide 1 hour of reading instruction 3 days/week for 180 students, at 4 Oakland Unified School District school sites. The afterschool program is modeled after Springboard’s summer programming, which combines teacher coaching, small group instruction, and family workshops.

Tandem ($75,000) for a take home book program for 218 classrooms and over 4,000 children and families. Funding will also support early literacy trainings and resources for teachers, community based organizations and families.