Montera Middle School Montera Middle School is incredibly excited to join our fellow Oakland schools and Ride for a Reason in 2019! We love cycling and can’t think of a better way to help raise funds and build bonds between schools.
Founded in 1959, Montera is OUSD’s largest middle school and serves a diverse population of over 820 kids from more than 40 different elementary schools. We know too well the budgetary challenges our schools and teachers face. R4R gives us an opportunity to bring attention to these critical shortfalls and contribute to a better future for Oakland students. Funds raised through R4R will help provide field trips to plays and museums; pay for equipment and fees for after-school sports; and fund teacher mini-grants that let our staff provide things like technology, Special Education materials, and a new peer-driven reading intervention program that the school budget wouldn’t otherwise be able to cover.
Life Academy Life Academy of Health and Bioscience is ecstatic to be joining Ride for a Reason this year. Founded in 2001 through the smalls school movement by a group of teachers at Fremont High School, Life Academy, 18 years later, is now a bustling 6-12 in the heart of Oakland's Fruitvale neighborhood serving a diverse group of students. As a small school in Oakland's Fruitvale, Life Academy seeks to dramatically interrupt patterns of injustice and inequity for under-served communities in Oakland as more than 95% of our students receive free or reduced lunch and many will be the first in their families to graduate high school and make it to and through college. Through transformative learning experiences focused on the health and science fields, students are engaged in learning and inspired to acquire the skills needed to succeed in college and their chosen careers. Ride for the Reason enables us to provide more robust transformative experiences through experiential learning on grade level trips, internships, and end of the year post sessions which provide students with full day electives that can range from surfing to theater to protest art. Additionally, this support will provide us necessary supplies like paper, printer ink, chairs, tables, and white board markers to offer our students the equitable education they deserve.
Over the last ten years, R4R has raised close to $1,000,000! Read on to see how funds have been put to use. Our teachers and students thank you. Roosevelt Middle School At Roosevelt, we have used the funds raised through R4R to help our students take numerous field trips. This year Roosevelt students plan to visit the Exploratorium, Chabot Space and Science Center, the Oakland Ice Rink, local colleges and universities, the Tech Museum in San Jose, the Oakland Airport, the Oakland Museum, and Fort Ross. In addition, our students have had the opportunity to experience the outdoors through camping and hiking excursions, including a whitewater rafting adventure on the South Fork of the American River.
R4R funds also help support our athletic program by allowing us to provide basic equipment and uniforms for our sports teams.
At Roosevelt we work hard to build a strong relationships between students and staff. R4R funds have helped support monthly campus-wide community building activities such as student vs. staff games, community art projects, and student clubs (Gay-Straight Alliance, Girls' Empowerment, Robotics Club, Japanese Culture and Language Club, etc...). Claremont Middle School Claremont Middle School is a diverse and dynamic school, with a student population that mirrors the Oakland community. In addition to providing robust Special Education, CMS works hard to serve students who arrive at our school with a variety of different educational needs. We are particularly proud of how we’ve consistently increased the numbers of students reading and performing math skills at or above grade level. Support from the R4R program has been critical in helping us achieve this student success. Specifically, the proceeds help us fund the following programs:
Math aides. Having a second instructor in the room allows us to provide differentiated learning for students of widely varying abilities. Personalized attention is the cornerstone of our success in improving both test scores and long-term academic success.
Staff Librarian. Our library is the heart of our educational program; even as OUSD has cut support for libraries, we have maintained our commitment to keeping ours open and fully staffed. Our staff librarians help reluctant readers find books that will captivate them and turn them into lifelong learners. The library has become the cool place to hang out during lunch and after school; our competent library staff wear multiple hats, acting as homework helpers, conflict resolvers, and community builders.
Permanent stip sub. Constantly shifting substitutes can be incredibly disruptive. With help from R4R, Claremont has been able to provide a long-term substitute teacher who can be in any classroom as needed. This teacher gets to know both the students and the other faculty, and is able to provide a higher level of instruction than a rotating cast of daily subs.
We couldn't provide this level of service and attention to Claremont students without the generous support of Ride for a Reason participants and volunteers.
Edna Brewer Middle School Edna Brewer Middle School is proud to be one of the most diverse middle schools in Oakland. We are a Title 1 school. Sixty-nine percent of our students come from low-income families and 9% are English language learners. The funds provided by Ride for a Reason help support our efforts to ensure that all students in our school get opportunities to thrive and succeed. Three key activities that Ride for a Reason funds help support are:
The Edna Brewer Peer Tutoring Initiative: an after-school program that supports 6th, 7th and 8th grade students who are struggling with academics and organization. Ride for a Reason funds have allowed us to continue to grow this program—even in the face of budget cuts. Now in its 4th year, this program continues to be an integral part of Edna Brewer Middle School’s mission to close the achievement gap and prepare students for success in high school. The funds compensate school staff for their extra work time and provide modest “service awards” for our dedicated student tutors.
Teacher Mini-grant Program: this program allows all staff in our school to apply for grants to supplement and enrich learning for our students. Highlights from last year’s grants include: a hydroponic garden which engaged students in growing food in environmentally efficient ways.
Field trip fund: funds are used to support as least one field trip per student at the school. This provides an important opportunity for the children in our school to experience events such as Shakespeare performances (via CalShakes).
Emerson Elementary School Funds raised in 2018 will support Emerson's fabulous garden program and teacher mini-grants. For several years Emerson family and staff have worked together to create a beautiful and educational garden space. In the Fall every student spends time each week in the garden, learning about plants, ecosystems, gardening, eating well, and more. Social emotional learning is an important component of this time as well. In addition to the gardening program, R4R also supports our teacher mini-grants. Last year, mini-grants funded books, BART tickets, professional development, science materials, and more.
Oakland International High School We are so excited about the opportunities these funds help create. We divide the funds between mental health services and after school sports programming.
On the mental health front: Even without the budget challenges posed by district budget cuts, providing mental health services is difficult at OIHS. With over 20 languages on campus, no single provider could possibly treat our entire student population. We have to search for a variety of providers with linguistic and cultural competencies to meet our students’ needs and they are needy. Virtually no one immigrates to a new country because things are good where they came from. Our students' families are escaping poverty, violence, and war. Some families immigrate here gradually: many of our students are joining parents whom they have not seen in years. All of our students miss family and friends left behind. Navigating a new country under these circumstances is tremendously difficult. Your R4R funds allow us to provide additional language-specific mental health services for students who do not have Medi-Cal, or other mental health service access.
Sports Programming! Our students at OIHS have three things in common: they are immigrants, they want to learn English, and they love soccer. Soccer is the cultural glue that binds together a hugely diverse student body. On a student’s first day in American school, everything feels foreign and impossible ... until soccer practice starts. Finally, something a new immigrant understands and can participate in effortlessly and joyfully. It is a place to find friends, support, and a healthy and safe place to be after school. Oakland International partners with the amazing non-profit Soccer Without Borders to provide an after-school soccer program five days a week for 150 students. They also provide academic support and mentoring to team members. R4R funds will be used to support this ongoing, amazing, necessary work. At Oakland International High School, 100% of the students are classified by the district as socio-economically disadvantaged.
Oakland Technical High School Incoming R4R funds support our Mini and Maxi Grant program to fund supplemental activities in the classrooms not otherwise funded through the annual school budget. Mini and Maxi grants have been a critical stopgap for teachers and administrators to provide basic needs in the face of overall school funding shortages.
Mini and Maxi Grant funds pay for simple things that would normally be provided by a school site budget: field trips, replacement computers, special lab equipment, printing services, special software, additional support for the Special Education program, all things that wealthier school districts take for granted. Without R4R, these grants would be very small or not there at all.
Using a $500 Maxi Grant, Special Education students have been learning knitting. During the spring semester, they made baby hats and other items. Instructor Su Coburn arranged to donate some of their handicrafts to Children’s Hospital, where they have been given to newborn babies to help keep them warm after birth. Hand-knitted hats is a special gift to these infants and their families. That’s Riding for a Reason.
Oakland Tech is an Oakland school pulling itself up by its bootstraps. In recent years it has reorganized its curriculum, dividing the learning tracks into separate academies to focus students’ learning and interests. The principal, staff and parents have ramped up the curriculum to offer challenging classes that attract and keep some of Oakland’s best students. Oakland Tech now boasts full attendance (more than 2000 students) and a waiting list for these academies. The school has been raising test scores and is proud of its success at increasing graduation rates to well above OUSD and state averages. In 2015, almost 400 students took Advanced Placement exams. About 53% of Oakland Tech students are socio-economically disadvantaged. Skyline High School Skyline is delighted to join the ranks of R4R participating schools. Due to overall OUSD school funding shortages, the R4R funds will help support classroom teachers through the PTSA Grant Program. The purpose of the Grant Program is to support and enhance the learning experience, improve climate, and build community at Skyline High School. The Program provides financial assistance to those educational experiences that support the mission and goals of Skyline to provide all students with a supportive environment and rigorous curriculum through which they develop their academic skills, creative talents, and civic values. R4R funds will allow us to expand the Grant Program by offering larger grants to more teachers.
We will also look for opportunities to contribute to classroom supplies and campus improvements that are low priority for the district.
Westlake Middle School In the past, Westlake middle school has used the funds to support the Parents of Westlake (PTA), after school programming, and 8th grade activities. Our leadership team decided to head in a different direction this year. We spread the funds throughout the entire school, in hopes that this money can have greater impact. Some of the programs include: Dance, Drama, Music, After school programming, POW, 8th grade activities, Art integration into core classes, Athletic programming, outdoor education trips, and finally our Leadership program. These focus areas all have needs different needs and the influx of this money, makes supporting our scholars’ success that much easier. Our community is super excited about participation in R4R this year and look forward to riding for a cause.
About Ride for A Reason Ride for A Reason is a fundraising ride sponsored by the Claremont Middle School PTA benefiting ten public schools in Oakland. All donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law. (Tax ID: 94-6171801)