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!
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.
- East Bay Agency for Children – Sequoia Healthy Start – Help with after-school program and enrichment activities – 1 hour/week – Reach Reka Lal, Reka@ebac.org
- East Bay Agency for Children – Hawthorne Family Resource Center – If you speak Spanish, then help students as well as prepare for special events – a few hours/month – Reach Allison Delgado, Allison@ebac.org
- Experience Corps Oakland – If you’re 55+ years, then mentor kids one-on-one or in small groups with reading and homework – 2 hours/week – Reach David Moren, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Lafayette School Mentoring Project – Get trained in language arts or math tutoring, then tutor or assist teachers in classrooms. – 1.5 hours/week, includes evening sessions – Reach Jessica Bilsky, email@example.com
- Oakland Parents Literacy Project – Help promote parental involvement and literacy, through Family Reading Nights – 2-3 hours/Wed evening events – Reach Denise Geer, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Oakland Public Library’s Books for Wider Horizons – Receive training, and then read and sing with preschoolers through Head Start or Child Development programs – 1-2 hours/week – Reach Kris Waller, email@example.com
- Reading Partners – Receive training, and then tutor one student who’s struggling with reading – 1 hour/week with semester commitment – Reach Salleha Chaudhry, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Super Stars Literacy – Help 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, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
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 Rise – Help set up and develop this organization; Also males requested for Speakers Series, to address Fruitvale boys aged 8-14 years old – Reach Jon Gilgoff, email@example.com
- Faith Network of the East Bay – Get 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, Randy@faith-network.com or Rebecca@faith-network.com
- Oakland Unified School District Library Services – Support and work in school libraries, including all typical library tasks – a few hours/week – Reach Ann Gallagher, Ann.Gallagher@ousd.k12.ca.us
Middle-High School Opportunities
For older students, the volunteer activities are focused on college prep and even entrepreneurship opportunities. We are partial to them!
- AVID – Get middle/high schoolers thinking and preparing for college, based on this socratic curriculum – 1-2 hours/week – Reach Robert Wack, firstname.lastname@example.org
- BUILD – Together 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, email@example.com
- Be A Mentor – Attend a training class, and then mentor kids socially and academically – 1 hour/week – Reach Ryan Gray, firstname.lastname@example.org
- WriterCoach Connection / Community Alliance for Learning – Receive training and then work one-on-one with teens on their writing assignments – 1-2 hours/week, 2-4 weeks/month – Reach Lynn Mueller, email@example.com
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: Risha.Riley@ousd.k12.ca.us 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.