April 2019

General Meeting


Agenda Highlights

Our Spring Quarterly Meeting was energizing, engaging, and exciting. We were joined by Roilyn Graves from Envision Public Schools, who led a workshop for participants to help us understand Special Education and literacy, and how they intersect with our own work.

You can find the powerpoint presentation here, and the participant note packet here.

Below you will find the resources shared throughout the workshop in the various stations:

General Resources


Deep Dive Into Common Disabilities 


Literacy Focused Interventions



Thank you to Chapter 510 and Janet Heller for hosting us in their one-of-a-kind writing space.  For more information about their programs or renting their space for an event, check out their website.

Thank you to Noah’s Bagels and Whole Foods for their donation of delicious coffee and bagels!


Documents from Spring Quarterly Meeting

January 2019

General Meeting


Agenda Highlights

On Wednesday, January 16, over 30 participants representing a wide variety of organizations throughout Oakland convened at Chapter 510 & the Department of Make-Believe for an exciting morning of learning and networking.

This meeting focused around After School programs and literacy education. You can access the complete meeting packet here and the complete slideshow here.


After School and Literacy Education

We started off learning about the priorities, successes, and challenges of after school programs in Oakland with presentations from Martha Peña of OUSD, Claire Elowitt of Super Stars Literacy, Ty-Licia Hooker of Boost! West Oakland, and Becky Sotello of Girls Inc. of Alameda County.  Each spoke from their perspective about their organization’s experience navigating the after school landscape in order to serve students most effectively.  

After the presentations there was an opportunity for participants to connect with the presenters and each other in small groups for a deep-dive discussion, which was a really exciting part of the meeting. “Loved the format – short presentations and then breakout sessions,” said one participant.


Advocacy Opportunity

Aleah Rosario of CALSAC, presented information about after school funding on the state level – where most of Oakland’s after school funding comes from.  Aleah shared that lawmakers are currently reviewing the budget over these next few months, which makes this an ideal time to make your voice heard and convince the state to allocate more funding towards after school programs. Aleah shared opportunities for statewide advocacy leading up to the CA Afterschool and Summer Challenge event in March. Check out some of the resources Aleah shared and reach out to us if you want more information on anything here:

On Monday, January 28, from 1-1:30pm the OLC will be hosting an Advocacy Call for anyone interested in getting involved.  Please RSVP to this link if you would like to join us!


Read Aloud Workshop

Immediately following the general meeting, the OLC’s Program Manager, Rebecca Schmidt, lead a workshop on Read Aloud Basics. This workshop was aimed toward Family Reading Celebration Mini Grant recipients, but open to anyone interested.  You can access the workshop handout here: Read Aloud Workshop one-pager. Be sure to check out our Reading Celebration Planning & Resource Page on our website for additional resources and updates.



Thank you to Chapter 510 and Janet Heller for hosting us in their one-of-a-kind writing space.  For more information about their programs or renting their space for an event, check out their website.

Thank you to Beauty’s Bagel Shop and Whole Foods for their donation of delicious coffee and bagels!

Documents from Winter OLC Quarterly Meeting

October 2018

General Meeting

Agenda Highlights

On Wednesday, October 17, over 35 community partners in 30 organizations met at the East Bay Community Foundation conference center for the Fall Quarterly OLC Meeting. You can access the complete meeting packet below.

Here are some highlights!

Partners & Community Schools

Ali Metzler from OUSD presented about Community Schools in Oakland, and in particular, about the Community School Manager role.  She shared that the CSM role can be an integral connection for literacy partners in OUSD schools. She offered some helpful guidelines for connecting with a school’s CSM, and also some tips on what to do and who to go to if your school doesn’t have a CSM.

Ali then turned the focus to integrating literacy partners into schools.  She presented some feedback about best practices from school leaders and select partners.  The group then had a chance to reflect on their own areas for growth and things that are going well in their own partnerships in schools, and explore some of the resources that OUSD offers to help partners and schools improve their partnerships.

Martin Young from OUSD closed out the presentation with a quick review of the Partnerships Process and a list of this year’s approved community partners.


You can find more information in the links below:


Family Reading Celebrations Mini Grants Info Session

Immediately after the main part of the OLC Meeting ended, Sanam Jorjani, one of the OLC Co-Directors, led an information session about the current round of mini grants.

You can find more information about Family Reading Celebrations in the links below:


Thank you to Whole Foods and Proposition Chicken for your generous donation. 

Documents from Fall OLC Quarterly Meeting

July 2018

General Meeting


Agenda Highlights 


On Wednesday, July 25, 2018, over 40 community partners representing over 30 organizations met at Chapter 510 and the Department of Make Believe for the Summer Quarterly OLC Meeting.


Below are some highlights!


Panel – Summer Learning: Three organizations show how they keep students engaged.


Julie McCalmont of OUSD, Marián Gutiérrez of the Aspire Education Summer Reading Buddies Program, and Bernadette Butler and Benjie Achtenberg from Aim High each presented about how their work keeps students engaged throughout the summer.  It was evident that although all three are very different organizations and work in different ways, student engagement and student experience are at the forefront.   


Julie shared that OUSD’s summer focus is generally summed up with the phrase “first experiences and second chances,” working with students new to OUSD programs (such as rising Kindergarteners, newcomers, or refugee students) and students who need extra support outside the typical school year (students who finish the school year behind or need a second chance on a class).  Marián spoke about the high school Reading Buddies Program and how powerful connections are made between the high schoolers and the students (who are typically PreK-3rd graders in their program).  She also discussed the importance and the challenge of engaging high schoolers from the same communities as the children in the program.  Bernadette and Benjie spoke about how important it is for Aim High to engage students in their program from day one, and how that can be challenging given such a short amount of time over the summer. But with an academic program that is specifically tailored to middle schoolers, and extracurriculars unlike a traditional school schedule (think Zumba, Ultimate Frisbee, or filmmaking), students jump right in.


All four panelists spoke about the importance of providing students an opportunity to experience something new and different over the summer, giving students the chance to build on what they’ve already learned in school, and/or helping students become prepared for the following school year.


“I loved the speakers and the different perspectives they took while at the same time they shared a sense of excitement, passion, and motivation”


You can find more information about the organizations here:



Summer Mini Grants Table Conversations


Each summer, the OLC gives out Mini Grants to organizations that work to promote and support student reading and family engagement over the summer.  These grants range in amount up to $1,000 and are meant to help organizations bring literacy and books into traditionally non-academic or out-of-school spaces.
Three Summer Reading Mini Grants recipients joined us at the OLC meeting: Wanda O’Neil from Maya Angelou Library and Literacy Center, Kacie Stratton from Harbor House Ministries, and Lucy Rios from Brighter Beginnings.  They each held “table conversations” and shared with participants about their organizations and their experiences in the Mini Grants program. The groups also had the chance to share with each other about various student engagement and community outreach strategies, as well as other best practices.


You can find out more information about the Summer Mini Grants here.  


You can find out more about the organizations that facilitated here:


Thank you to Whole Foods and Proposition Chicken for your generous donation. 

Documents from July OLC Quarterly Meeting

May 2018

General Meeting


Agenda Highlights 

On Wednesday, May 23, 2018, over 50 community partners representing over 30 organizations met at Chapter 510 and the Department of Make Believe for the Spring Quarterly OLC Meeting.

Below are some highlights!


Advocacy Update on Measure A & the Oakland Children’s Initiative

Three representatives from the campaigns presented compelling background and data about why these measures are so important to the Oakland community.  


“Loved the policy/advocacy update! In my work – not many opportunities for this type of learning.  Extremely beneficial especially for representatives for the campaign to explain various parts.”


LitMap Update

Rinat Fried from OUSD unveiled the new LitMap, which is designed to help Oakland schools and external partners better collaborate with each other, and helps to make resources transparent and accessible to schools and community stakeholders.  The LitMap is fully searchable and features detailed community partner profiles, school profiles, and interactive mapping tools that can be used to access data on OUSD child development centers, OUSD elementary schools, Oakland charter elementary schools, and community partner literacy providers. Litmap currently includes 2017-18 data.

You can access the LitMap here.


Panel – Beyond Reading: Three approaches to literacy beyond the fundamentals

Lacy Asbill from Moving Forward Institute, Rebecca Haskell from Science is Elementary, and Janet Heller from Chapter 510 and the Department of Make Believe each presented about how their work builds literacy skills with students.  It was evident that although all three are very different organizations, literacy is a focus for each.

Lacy shared how social emotional learning is at the core of their curriculum, and that helping students connect with books on an emotional level enables them to engage with text in a more meaningful way, building skills and applying knowledge along the way.  Rebecca shared how student engagement is significantly high in science and how children’s fundamental curiosity lends itself well to science work, but that it’s imperative for students to be able to express what they learn and discover. Janet shared the process by which teaching artists collaborate with teachers in schools to help develop space for writing projects that align with their classroom curriculum.  

All three panelists expressed the importance of holding student experience and student engagement at the heart of their work, and the power of collaborating across disciplines in order to support students most effectively.

You can find more information about the organizations below.


“The Beyond Reading panel was extraordinary – made me really rethink the direction of our curriculum.”

“The panel discussion was great – awesome to learn more about how social/emotional learning and science is helpful with literacy”

“Great to hear from peer organizations in the panel! It helped fuel ideas for peer collaboration.”


OUSD Partnerships Update

Martin Young presented the process for partnering with OUSD, and the necessary steps needed to take in order for an organization to officially partner.  You can find more information from his presentation below.



Thank you to Chapter 510 and Janet Heller for hosting us in their one-of-a-kind writing space. For more information on renting their space for an event or meeting visit their website.

Thank you to Whole Foods Market for providing breakfast and lunch for the quarterly meeting.


Documents from May 2018 OLC General Meeting

January 2018

General Meeting


Agenda Highlights

On January 24, 2018, over 40 community partners joined the OLC for our Winter Quarterly Meeting.  We were joined by OUSD Board President, Aimee Eng, who shared about the current budget, considerations, and process.  We collected and shared feedback and concerns through group discussion and explored challenges and possibilities in the school year ahead.  We had rotating round table discussions that featured a peer speaker with an organizational highlight and practical example and a facilitated peer discussion.  

We also shared 2018 policy updates and opportunities.

  • Policy Update & Opportunity
    • Nina Lindsay, Oakland Public Library
    • Sanam Jorjani from Oakland Literacy Coalition
  • OUSD Budget Update & Group Discussion
    • Aimee Eng, Board President
  • Litmap Early Literacy Resources Dashboard
    • Cassie Perham, Oakland Literacy Coalition


Thank you to Whole Foods Market for providing breakfast for our quarterly meeting.

Documents from January 2018 OLC General Meeting

October 2017

General Meeting


Agenda Highlights

  • OLC Membership Overview and Q&A
  • Taproot Pro Bono services for members
    • Kate Effland & Andrew Mahoney, Taproot Foundation
  • Literacy Instruction & Support, OUSD
    • Nancy Lai, OUSD
  • Litmap Early Literacy Resources Dashboard
    • Cassie Perham, OLC
  • OLC Advocacy – Oakland Children’s Initiative
    • Sanam Jorjani, OLC


Documents from October 2017 OLC General Meeting

April 2017

General Meeting


Agenda Highlights

On April 19th, 40 network partners joined us for our April meeting focused on the early education landscape in Oakland.  In addition to our knowledgable expert speakers, OLC members were invited to share and network over a delicious lunch from El Gusano.  Thank you to all who joined us for another opportunity to learn, collaborate, and champion!  And a special guest to all special guest speakers.  We look forward to seeing you all in July for our Annual Summer Convening.  In the meantime, don’t forget to check our blog for the latest news and opportunities from the us and for community announcements and community job postings.


A Look at Early Childhood Education Issues, Initiatives, and Data

Malia Ramler and Andrea Youngdahl of Oakland Starting Smart and Strong shared how the initiative is working to develop a cross-sector, citywide, integrated, quality early childhood system.  OSSS is a ten-year initiative focused on creating universal access to high quality early learning opportunities and the promotion of healthy development for children 0-5.  The presentation focused on how Oakland is mobilizing cross-sector agencies to build systems and support, and how OSSS is serving as the early care and education collaborative for Oakland.

Community organizations interested in this 0-5 task force are invited to learn more by contacting Sarah Price at sarah@oaklandedfund.org.


A Look at the Preschool Experience of OUSD Kindergartners

Rinat Fried shared the new public “Preschool Experience Dashboard” for OUSD kindergarten students.  OUSDs recent inclusion of parent reported preK experience information as part of the enrollment application, revealed important data on how many children have had preschool.

“16% of OUSD kindergarten students had no preschool experience prior to enrolling in OUSD preK”

The dashboards include the type of preschool (head start, OUSD, private, day care, etc), as well as where they attended.  The dashboards also show feeder patters for kinder enrollment, allowing interested principals to understand where their students are coming from.

The dashboard is available via OUSDs community portal.


Supporting Early Learning in Oakland Discussion

Following both early education focused presentation, a discussion followed on how Oakland can message the importance of early education and preschool for all.

What does the public at large need to understand in order to support quality preschool for all Oakland children?

  • What is school readiness and how does it impact later learning?
  • How does investing in preschool benefit the city.
  • What does expanded preschool look like?  What do children gain?
  • What does the access gap to preschool look like and how does it impact families?
  • How is preschool different from other forms of child care?

How do we address these questions and build public will and support?

  • Create a grassroots, parent led campaign for preK
  • Craft messages for various stakeholders and decision makers, such as policy makers.

Some outstanding and thought provoking questions remain:

  • Is there a common understanding of school readiness?
  • Is there a common understanding of “quality”
  • In addition to increasing the number of available preK seats, how do we address the other barriers to preK access and enrollment?


“Done in A Day” Pro Bono Services with Taproot

Andrew Mahoney of the Taproot foundation shared their pro bono services for non-profits. The Oakland Literacy Coalition is working to secure a partnership with the Taproot Foundation to make their “Done in a Day” pro bono services available to OUSD organizations.  Please contact Andrew Mahoney at Amahoney@taprootfoundation.org with any questions about how the Taproot Foundation might support your non-profit.


Documents from the Spring 2017 general meeting

January 2017

General Meeting

Agenda Highlights
The focus of this meeting is geared towards educators, practitioners and providers looking to develop and utilize read alouds to support children, classrooms, and families.
    • Alicia Maldonado, California State Lead, Campaign for Grade-Level Reading
    • Susan True, Director, Education Strategies and Ventures, Kenneth Rainin Foundation
    • Kyndal Hargrow, SEEDS Literacy Coach
    • Two Generation Approach To Literacy
    • Sue Pon, Director, Oakland Adult and Career Education, OUSD

Documents from the Winter 2017 Quarterly Meeting

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