Above: Springboard Collaborative offers an intensive afterschool program that gives students continued support for learning. Photo credit: Ana Homonnay
The Kenneth Rainin Foundation awarded more than $730,000 in education grants in November to ten organizations dedicated to unlocking potential in Oakland’s youngest learners.
The Rainin Foundation believes every child should enter kindergarten equipped with the skills to read at or above grade level by the end of third grade. Whether through literacy programs or afterschool workshops, we know that investing in young Oakland students improves their early childhood experience.
“Our goal is to give Oakland children their best chance to succeed, and that means supporting the adults who care about them the most.” said Carla Bryant, Director of Education Strategy & Ventures at the Rainin Foundation. “We’re grateful for the work these organizations are doing to develop language, literacy and social-emotional skills for Oakland children.”
Preparing Oakland Children for Success
Organizations granted awards include:
East Bay Agency for Children ($60,000) for programming at the Hawthorne Family Resource Center, which will include the Parent-Child Education Support Program and East Bay Agency for Children’s early childhood education program, La Academia.
East Bay Community Foundation ($200,000) to gather data and conduct research to inform how to expand equitable access to high-quality early care and education programs for families who otherwise would not have access to important opportunities.
Literacy Lab ($50,000) for support and maintenance of programs serving more than 1,700 students. Funds will support the LitTab (e-readers) program in 22 classrooms, LitBag program (take home books with journals) in 18 classrooms, and Learning Stations in 52 preschool classrooms.
Lotus Bloom Family Resource Center ($100,000) for Lotus Bloom’s Parent-Child School Readiness Playgroups and Family Resource Services. Lotus Bloom will offer playgroups twice weekly for 40 weeks, and provide training to family, friends and neighboring partners to build their capacity to start and sustain their own family resource services and/or playgroup programs.
Oakland Literacy Coalition, Inc. ($60,000) for a program manager position to develop and implement a series of continuous learning programs for the Oakland Literacy Coalition’s membership Literacy Service Providers. Funds will also support an Outreach Coordinator for the Oakland Reads mini-grants program for family reading celebrations during the school year and summer, and establishing additional partnerships with community and faith based organizations.
Oakland Public Education Fund ($33,000) to fund small grants to district and charter schools for supplemental literacy supports.
Friends of the Oakland Public Library (Oakland Public Library) ($55,000) for the Children’s Literacy Programming Fund. Oakland Public Library will purchase 14,000 giveaway books for distribution through multiple programs. Programs include Día (Diversity in Action) events, Books for Wider Horizons preschool graduation giveaways, Summer Reading, Winter Bingo, and Share the Love outreach (distribution at the Oakland Housing Authority picnics, hospital waiting rooms and laundromats).
Reach out and Read, Inc. ($40,000) for maintaining their birth to 5 early literacy program at 18 clinics in Oakland and distributing over 12,000 books through pediatricians who are trained to speak with families during well child visits about the importance of reading aloud and interacting with their children.
Springboard Collaborative ($100,000) for an intensive afterschool program that will provide one-hour of guided reading support, three days per week, for up to 360 students. The afterschool programming is modeled after their summer programming, which combines teacher coaching, small group instruction, home-visits, family workshops and incentives.
Unity Council of Alameda County, Inc. (40,000) for Unity Council’s Children & Family Services department to create a set of strategic objectives that improve program performance. This effort will also assess client outcomes and impacts, and provide recommendations to improve data capture, analysis and action planning.