Help Wanted: Oakland-Based Children Rising Seeks Volunteers to Help Students Overcome COVID-Related Learning Loss
"High-dosage tutoring" is the key to children's long-term success
By: Children Rising
The Biden-Harris Administration's American Rescue Plan has set aside $122 billion for schools to use to help students make up for lost learning time. This includes joining with leading organizations to recruit a quarter of a million new tutors and mentors over the next three years.
"Students throughout the country are suffering from unprecedented levels of unfinished learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic," says Jim Wambach, executive director of Children Rising. "While nationwide, children are an average of two to four months behind in reading and math, here in Oakland, 60% of the second-graders are one or more grade levels behind in reading, while 70% are one or more grade levels behind in math. We can't afford to let them slip further."
Founded in 2002, Children Rising's one-on-one tutoring programs, Succeeding by Reading and Path2Math, deliver high-dosage tutoring through volunteer tutors and parents to children in Oakland's most underserved communities at no cost to their families. Parents become more effective at supporting their children's education. High-dosage tutoring is defined as one-on-one or small group tutoring at least three times per week, totaling about 100 hours of tutoring during the school year. Unfortunately, students most in need of high-dosage tutoring are least likely to have access to a tutor–which is why the organization is hoping to dramatically expand its volunteer base.
"The time for the broader community to support the schools, the kids, and their families is now. Never before have we had so many children in Oakland reading so far below grade level. The programs are ready. Our comprehensive tutor training and on-site coaching ensure that tutors can succeed from day one," says Wambach.
Janae, whose child participated in the Succeeding by Reading Program of Children Rising, has seen the difference tutoring can make.
"The one-on-one relationship and resources at home are significant for parents like me. He loves the different books and hands-on tools. He's more engaged in the classroom and more self-confident. He's still a little behind, but he's getting there."
For teachers and administrators, the Children Rising programs provide much-needed additional resources. "Children Rising has been a clear, consistent, constant partner with the school, helping children and families," says Roma Groves, principal at Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School. "Children Rising has trained their folks to come in and help kids realize that they have hope and that they can believe in themselves. Children look forward to working with their tutor, meeting with their tutor, and looking forward to the inspirational messages that the tutors have for them. They really help the families with their child's learning. We know that they have helped change the lives of the children."
Children Rising's goal is to recruit, train, and place 160 new tutors at the start of the 2022-2023 academic school year. To learn more about Children Rising's volunteer tutoring programs, visit www.children-
About Children Rising
Children Rising is an Oakland-based 501C(3) non-profit organization founded in 2001. The agency empowers 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 under-resourced public schools in three program areas - , Path2Math, Succeeding by Reading, and CareerBridge. More information can be found at www.Children-