Me with OUSD students from East Oakland PRIDE
How to support OUSD students:
You can direct contributions to individual schools or OUSD students generally by giving to the Oakland Public Education Fund. Be sure to indicate that your gift is intended specifically for OUSD students if that is your intent.
You can also sign up to volunteer through the Oakland Public Education Fund. There are several "read-ins" each year, which is a good way to volunteer occasionally. The Ed Fund can also connect volunteers with regular opportunities through several partner organizations, especially with literacy tutoring.
Oakland is lucky to have dozens of amazing organizations that work with our youth and families. Here are some of my favorite organizations:
Californians for Justice trains students in Oakland and statewide to organize for the needs of their schools and their communities. I am an alum, so I am strong believer in the need to (and power of) training youth of color in organizing. I learned most of what I know about organizing from when I was 16 and working on the No on 187 campaign through CFJ.
PLAN (Parent Leadership Action Network) builds the capacity of Oakland parents to support their students and their schools by training parents to organize for better schools.
OCO (Oakland Community Organizations) is a (primarily) faith-based organization that brings Oakland congregations together to work on campaigns to make Oakland better, tackling everything from illegal dumping to improving public schools. They work across racial and faith divides very effectively and have been at it longer than most social justice organizations in Oakland.
EBAYC (East Bay Asian Youth Center) is OUSD's most effective afterschool program because they work in close coordination with schools to reinforce what is happening in our classrooms. They also work with youth of all races who are on probation.
Game Theory Academy teaches financial literacy and entrepreneurship skills to Oakland youth through real-life experience running their West Oakland farm and through afterschool financial literacy classes that students are stipended for completing.
Parent Voices Oakland organizes parents with young children (0-5) to build better supports for early childhood in Oakland and across Alameda County, especially for affordable child care.
Friends of Oakland Public School Libraries works with our schools to keep our libraries open and beautiful, by volunteering to support our school librarians and help organize and re-open closed school libraries.
This is not an exhaustive list, so feel free to reach out if I missed an organization you know I care about.