education Blog

Rainin Foundation Awards over $580,000 in Education Grants

The Kenneth Rainin Foundation awarded more than $580,000 in grants in November to eight school and community based organizations that are dedicated to unlocking potential in Oakland’s youngest learners.

We have one clear goal when it comes to education in Oakland: for every child to read at or above grade level by the end of third grade. Reaching this goal takes collaboration—from parents, teachers, and community members—early in a child’s life.

“By investing in the adults who love and teach children, we are helping Oakland children develop the skills and enthusiasm they need to succeed in school and life,” said Susan True, Director of Education Strategy & Ventures at the Rainin Foundation. “We are especially excited to continue working with Literacy Lab and places of worship to engage their communities in building literacy skills for young children.”

Preparing Oakland Children for Kindergarten and Beyond

Approved Community Based Organizations and School Grants

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

Castlemont Community Transformation Schools ($42,749) to support SEEDS of Learning, an evidence-based professional development program for for teachers, that includes classroom tutor resources and ongoing coaching support.

Literacy Lab ($100,000) to provide 10 transitional kindergarten classrooms and 10 faith-based organizations with Literacy Lab’s early learning programs. These programs include take home books, parent/caregiver workshops and a newly added texting service to share interactive early learning and school readiness content with parents/caregivers.

Oakland Public Library ($55,000) to support the Library’s Children’s Literacy Programming Fund, which promotes a love of reading through a range of services, with a focus on initiatives that create access to books and support families as their children’s first teachers.

Oakland Unified School District ($62,826) 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.

Opportunity Institute (Too Small to Fail) ($25,000) in partnership with First 5 Alameda, to support the distribution of Talk, Read, Sing materials to 2,800 families with young children ages 0-3, via Oakland clinics and hospitals.

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 Oakland

A Reading Partners’ volunteer tutors a young student. Photo credit: Reading Partners

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.

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

Learn more about our previous Education grant recipients here.

Top photo: Andrea Bradford is a transitional kindergarten tutor at Allendale Elementary. Photo credit: Stephanie Secrest.


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