If you’ve been following the Oakland Reads 2020 Campaign, you probably already know that the city has set an ambitious goal: doubling the number of third graders reading on grade level by the year 2020. This goal paves a path to a new kind of city—one where students are more likely to graduate from high school, achieve their dreams, and give back to their community. While the campaign has just kicked off this month, it is already springing into action with a summer of literacy programming at Brookfield Elementary School in East Oakland.
Summer Learning Matters.
Creating new opportunities for summer learning can help close the achievement gap between low-income students and their more privileged peers, as the summer slide is a major contributor to the discrepant outcomes between these two groups. While Brookfield students did not initially have access to a school-sponsored summer program, a handful of key partners in the Oakland Reads Campaign stepped forward to fund and facilitate a summer of robust literacy programming for this school community. Participating students will return to school this fall with their grade-level literacy skills intact, avoiding several months of “catch up” teaching, and placing them on a path towards greater success as they progress in school
Weaving Together Academic and Emotional Skills.
This summer’s activities are being facilitated by an Oakland Reads partner organization. Girls & Boys Moving Forward is a gender-specific tutoring and mentoring program that improves students’ proficiency in reading and writing while also teaching life-changing social and emotional skills. Led by a team of diverse and caring young adult mentors, this small-group program helps students explore their identities through reading, discussing, and writing about emotionally rich and meaningful novels. While students are improving their academic skills—like reading fluency, comprehension, and writing—they are also building emotional intelligence, self-awareness, relationship skills, and self-confidence. These skills are crucial to young people’s ultimate success—both in school, and in life.
Involving the Community.
The Brookfield Summer program also includes family engagement activities, another key pillar in the campaign for reading success in Oakland. On Friday, June 28th, the project partners hosted a Family Literacy Picnic for the Brookfield Elementary community. The event included parent education about literacy practices to use at home and a summer book giveaway to inspire students to invest their free time in reading, along with engaging games and activities, and a free community lunch. The event had an impressive turnout, with nearly 200 attendees, including Assemblymember Bonta, who has consistently voiced his support of the campaign for grade-level literacy.
Next, the campaign seeks to unite the city’s many stand-alone literacy initiatives, improve collaboration among organizations, and strengthen the city’s overall strategy for improving students’ literacy skills. Stay tuned for more news about Oakland Reads 2020, and the campaign’s transformative work in the community.
This summer’s literacy programming at Brookfield was made possible by a generous contribution from The Stocker Foundation. Oakland Reads 2020 would like to extend a special thank you to The Stocker Foundation for their their support.
Check out the media coverage from OAKLAND LOCAL:
To learn more about Girls & Boys Moving Forward, please visit:
To learn more about teaching social and emotional skills during literacy time, please visit: