Foundation Awards Over $3.7 Million To Advance Literacy - Kenneth Rainin Foundation

Foundation Awards Over $3.7 Million To Advance Literacy

A parent watches as an educator works with two young children sitting at a shared desk. A Families in Action parent participates in classroom walkthroughs with school leadership at Learning Without Limits. Photo courtesy of Families in Action.

The Kenneth Rainin Foundation awarded over $3.7 million in Education grants to advance equitable literacy solutions in Oakland. Our funding fosters the development of children’s language, literacy and social emotional skills so they become confident, capable and joyful learners. This round of grants supports: 

  • Family advocacy and capacity-building initiatives
  • Evidence-based interventions for transitional kindergarten through second grade students 
  • Workforce development and burnout prevention for educators 
  • Coaching and training solutions
  • Strategic collaboration and alignment of efforts across Oakland and multilingual practices across the state 

Interdependence is one of the Rainin Foundation’s core values. We’re thrilled by how our 2023 Education grantees are working together for the 2023-2024 school year to unlock the potential of Oakland’s youngest learners:

  • Promising partnerships in Oakland neighborhoods: We renewed funding for 3Ls’ partnership with public schools in Sobrante Park, especially Madison Park Academy Primary. Through the team’s close work with students, families, educators and site leaders, they’ve seen accelerated literacy gains for all participating students. Additionally, East Bay Agency for Children’s Little Step to College program, a kindergarten readiness solution in the Hawthorne neighborhood, partners intentionally with Achieve Academy to ensure incoming students and their families are supported and connected.
  • Exciting collaborations within school systems: Oakland Unified School District, The Oakland REACH and FluentSeeds have demonstrated promising preliminary literacy growth. The Oakland REACH has advocated for improved learning and working conditions for students and its Literacy Liberators and FluentSeeds has enhanced its proven Response to Intervention infrastructure to measure the impact of those conditions. Education for Change, Families in Action and High Expectations are redefining what it means to have families at the decision-making table. Through institutes and ongoing capacity-building, more Education for Change families are advocating for their children and participating in classroom observations. They’re also leading literacy projects and serving as liaisons for families of struggling readers. Educators are better equipped and encouraged to have relationships with families built upon respect, mutual accountability and transparency. 
  • Advancing the next chapter of citywide grantees’ work: The Oakland Literacy Coalition debuted a new strategic plan focused on providing ongoing professional development and technical assistance to nonprofits. They also launched Oakland Reads, a website to support young readers. Lotus Bloom will continue to partner intentionally with local nonprofits, schools and agencies to reduce the burden families experience navigating resources and services.

Want to learn more about our grantees and their partnerships? Email our Education Program team.