Beta On Oakland School Volunteering

You know that sharing time and energy with local Oakland school kids is a mitzvah, a good deed.

Yet you probably have experienced a few internal hurdles like:  I don’t have enough time.  I don’t remember geometry.  I don’t know what to do. Some Montclarions decided to help everyone leap over these hurdles and organized a Volunteer Faire tomorrow – where it’s possible to get all the beta on Oakland school volunteering.

As a preview, we want to share the breadth of volunteer possibilities here and now.  There seems to be something for all would-be volunteers, even after work or on weekends.  Scan all the opportunities below, and get jumping!

Tutor An Oakland Student

Elementary School Opportunities

For younger students, there are many ways to help them improve their literacy.  While you can make an obvious impact on learning, we think the Saturday field trips also sound like fun.

  • Experience Corps OaklandIf you’re 55+ years, then mentor kids one-on-one or in small groups with reading and homework – 2 hours/week – Reach David Moren,
  • Lafayette School Mentoring ProjectGet trained in language arts or math tutoring, then tutor or assist teachers in classrooms. – 1.5 hours/week, includes evening sessions – Reach Jessica Bilsky,
  • Oakland Parents Literacy ProjectHelp promote parental involvement and literacy, through Family Reading Nights – 2-3 hours/Wed evening events – Reach Denise Geer,
  • Reading PartnersReceive training, and then tutor one student who’s struggling with reading – 1 hour/week with semester commitment – Reach Salleha Chaudhry,
  • Super Stars LiteracyHelp disadvantaged K-2 students with their reading; Also accompany them on weekend field trips – 3 days/week for three weeks, and/or 4-5 hours/Sat – Reach Erin Drake or Jessica Berry,,

Elementary-Middle School Opportunities

Some organizations reach out to middle schoolers, and there’s a bit more variety for volunteers.  You can help an organization grow, be hands-on with kids, or assist in the school libraries.

  • Brothers On The RiseHelp set up and develop this organization; Also males requested for Speakers Series, to address Fruitvale boys aged 8-14 years old – Reach Jon Gilgoff,
  • Faith Network of the East BayGet training and help kids as a reading tutor or library assistant; Also consider becoming a math tutor or classroom assistant – 1-2 hours/week – Reach Randy Roth or Rebecca Buckley, or

Middle-High School Opportunities

For older students, the volunteer activities are focused on college prep and even entrepreneurship opportunities.  We are partial to them!

  • AVIDGet middle/high schoolers thinking and preparing for college, based on this socratic curriculum – 1-2  hours/week – Reach Robert Wack,
  • BUILDTogether with another mentor, lead a small group of high schoolers in developing and starting their own business – 1.5 hours/week, at 5:30pm – Reach Hillary Fernandes,
  • Be A MentorAttend a training class, and then mentor kids socially and academically – 1 hour/week – Reach Ryan Gray,

After all these options, are you still baffled?  Then reach the Oakland Schools’ Family & Community Office and ask for guidance.  Coordinator Risha Riley may be reached at: or 510-434-7765.

Or else stop by the Volunteer Faire tomorrow, anytime between 11am – 2pm.  All these school-related organizations will be represented there – and you can really find out what fits you best by chatting with volunteer leaders.

More info:  Volunteer Faire for Oakland operates like a volunteer “trade show,” and takes place at Oakland Main Library’s West Auditorium,  125 14th Street, Oakland, CA.  In addition, Oakland School Superintendent  Tony Smith will speak briefly at 11am, while Council Rep Jean Quan will present a City Council proclamation to the Volunteer Faire Coalition at noon.

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