Children Rising Appoints Bronwyn Harris Community Engagement Manager
Noted educator and author to bolster community support for underfunded schools
By: Children Rising
Launched in October 2018, the agency's projected goal is to recruit, train and support 1,000 volunteers who can assist 2,000 students each year by 2022. The new post will be charged with developing community awareness about the vulnerable children in the East Bay and expanding partnerships with faith communities, service groups and local businesses. The goal is to reach an increasing number of caring adults eager to volunteer their time and talent to tutor struggling children and provide an equal opportunity for success.
Harris has a long history with Children Rising. While serving as an elementary school teacher in East Oakland, her students were some of the first to receive assistance from Children Rising. After leaving the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD), she wrote "Literally Unbelievable:
Children Rising now has over 200 dedicated volunteers, 20 congregations and 25 diverse community partners. The agency currently serves over 400 students in 36 under-resourced public schools annually. Four targeted programs provide personalized tutoring, mentoring and other learning resources to children in East Bay public schools most affected by poverty, violence and educational inequity.
The four-year initiative was created to address the approximately 1,800 OUSD second graders who begin each school year substantially deficient in basic reading and math skills. Without some extra personal attention and academic support, these children are severely challenged to keep up with their peers in third grade and beyond.
"Bronwyn has a deep understanding of problems facing the students and schools we serve," said Jim Wambach, executive director. "Despite the profound difference we are making in the lives of hundreds of children each year, there is so much more we would like to do. Her empathy and ability to communicate this important message to a broader community will help us accelerate our progress."
Children Rising empowers struggling children to rise above the challenges they face as a result of scarcity of resources and extraordinary socio-economic circumstances. They do this by first raising awareness and rallying community support for the most vulnerable neighborhood children. The staff then trains and supports volunteers to teach and mentor young students so they may develop academic and life skills to rise to their potential.
"In order to quickly serve thousands of additional children, we need caring adults to understand how easy it is to be an essential part of the solution," explains Harris. "The Children Rising volunteer programs are incredibly successful because we train, support and coach amazing volunteers to become highly competent tutors. They consistently make a meaningful difference, one child at a time."
About Children Rising
Children Rising is an Oakland-based 501C(3) non-profit organization founded in 2001. The agency helps children attending public schools most affected by poverty, violence and educational inequity by raising awareness and rallying community support for their needs; and by galvanizing and guiding volunteers to teach, mentor, and nourish the children so they may develop academic and life skills to realize their God-given potential. Children Rising offers an array of services to 36 under-resourced public schools in four program areas - CareerBridge, Health4Kids, Path2Math, and Succeeding by Reading. More information can be found at www.Children-
Eric Steckel, Communications Manager