A New Chapter


We can’t wait to celebrate the launch of the Oakland Literacy Coalition as an independent organization at our Summer Showcase and Launch Party later today!

2016 has been a year of exciting changes for the Coalition. As you already likely know, earlier this year we began our journey to become an autonomous, community-based organization. In this way, we can serve as an enduring anchor and voice for literacy efforts across our community.

Here are some of our key accomplishments so far:

  • Raised 60% of our 3-year operating expenses.
  • Moved offices to the newly established Citizen Engagement Lab – an organization that provides co-working space and strategic business support to social change organizations.
  • Incorporated as a new organization, established our founding governing board and filed for nonprofit status.

Through these changes, our mission remains the same: to meet the literacy needs of our city, particularly for our youngest readers, by improving the capacity and increasing the impact of Oakland’s literacy providers.

When the Rogers Family Foundation and East Bay Community Foundation convened the Coalition in 2008, they believed in the power of bringing the literacy community together to help Oakland’s students achieve grade-level reading by third grade.

Eight years later, our founding partners have been joined by many new members who dedicate their energy and expertise to see kids succeed. Because when Oakland’s students are reading well, they have a greater chance of thriving in school and in life.

Our collective effort is making progress, but we have a long road ahead. We want to make good on the promise to see that all Oakland children — especially those who face the greatest challenges — have the tools they need to do well.

Achieving this will take all of us. Schools cannot succeed alone. Our most disadvantaged children living in our toughest neighborhoods face many barriers. We can support our children to read by expanding learning outside of the school day and classroom walls; by supporting parents and caregivers and working with them as full partners in their children’s education.

The Coalition will continue to strengthen the field by creating meaningful opportunities for Oakland’s literacy providers to learn, collaborate and champion literacy so that every Oakland child gains the opportunity for reading success.

The Coalition will continue to spearhead the Oakland Reads campaign focused creating on strong foundations for our youngest learners and a citywide goal to dramatically increase third grade reading achievement to 85 percent by the year 2020—not just for today’s students, but for the generations to come.

That is one reason we are changing our campaign name to Oakland Reads. By removing the 2020 from our campaign name, we’re not giving up on our shared goal to dramatically increase reading proficiency to 85 percent by the year 2020. But we are committing to an impact that is broader, deeper and will be sustained into the future.

Our work will not be done in the year 2020 and when we reach 85 percent. Dramatic and lasting change will require an enduring and dedicated effort, and Oakland is rising to that challenge.

We believe passionately in a future where every Oakland child has the literacy skills necessary to flourish in school and lead a productive and fulfilling life.

We look forward to celebrating with you!

In Partnership,

Sanam Jorjani & Cassie Perham


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