Warm Wishes And Setting Intentions For 2018
As we enter this winter, many reflect on the year’s successes and accomplishments, areas for improvement, and intentions for the coming year. Here at PLAN, we have so much to celebrate. Our programs continue to dig deep and support hundreds of parents in Oakland, Richmond, and Marin City to believe in their own power and leadership in their children’s lives and the schools that serve them. Despite academic setbacks, constant financial instability across districts and a national political climate that advances a racist and xenophobic atmosphere, our communities continue to resist, hope, and stand unwaveringly for justice.
As we say farewell to 2017, we look forward to a new year to continue organizing, developing strong leaders and expanding our network. We look forward to sharing an annual report in the first part of the new year that will summarize our programs multi-year strategic goals. We look forward to expanding two of our programs- Leaders for Engaged and Active Parents (LEAP) and Transformative Capacity Building. Moreover, we will continue deepening the impact of our organizing through our Leadership Equity, Advocacy and Democracy (LEAD) Organizing Program. We are energized by the organizing to protect the most vulnerable students through a new budget process here in Oakland thanks to our collective work through the Justice for Oakland Students Coalition (J4OS). Most importantly, we are excited about our plans to dance the night away and have a little game night fun at two upcoming fundraisers in Spring 2018. So, I can truly say, we will work hard and party just as hard in 2018.
Recognizing that this is the time many of us reflect and give, consider investing in your community with PLAN to support our school site partners in East Oakland – REACH Academy, Madison Park Academy Primary, and Alliance Middle School. These schools have been hit by recent OUSD budget cuts. By donating to PLAN’s School Site Partners Emergency Fund much needed funds will go toward these schools.
We wish everyone safe journeys during this holiday season and look forward to building with you in 2018.
Pecolia Manigo, Bay Area PLAN Executive Director
MPA Primary Tour A Huge Success!
By Monica Scott Green
On November 14th the sun shined brightly on the Madison Park Academy Primary School Tour and launch of Volunteering is Fundamental and Fun initiative. In the newly renovated library Ms. Roberts, Interim Administrator and Marina Muñoz, former PLAN Parent Fellow welcome 27 parents to the Madison Park Business and Arts Academy Primary School Tour, organized by PLAN’s Leaders for Engaged and Active Parents program.
To protect instructional time each tour stop was limited to five-minutes. To allow time for questions parents divided into two groups. After an overview of Foundational Goals K – 2, each tour group proceeded to see and learn the MPA Primary way in: Math and Problem Solving, English Language Development & Support, Science, Reading Intervention Support, Reading Partners, and the areas of most surprise, the Garden and the Technology classroom. Many parents were not aware of these two gems.
Parents expressed delight that they were able to amble and observe students at work and students’ work. We know that children were excited to see parents in the class as the parents were to visit and explore the classroom. A sampling of parents’ evaluations provide a peek into what parents liked best about the tour.
- I was motivated to see that student are being helped in the subjects that we saw (math, literacy, technology, reading, science)
- The students seemed so organized
- I am starting to learn and see how much time each teacher invests in their lesson plan for the students
- Learned the different methods that teachers have to use to teach reading and math
- To know and see the different support that the children receive from the instructors
- I loved the tour as a group and to be able to enter the classroom to see how students are being taught
- The garden was so nice
- I learned all the different and diverse program that the school offers
- That there are organizations out here helping our children and providing options for me to get involved
- Everybody being able to go into the classroom to be able to see
- How happy the student were
Congratulations to Ms. Lopez and the 3rd Grade Class for returning the highest percentage of Tour Registration Forms. Gift given to the teacher and popcorn party for the class.
PLAN Parent Action Team School Site Updates
By Sasha Shane
For several years PLAN through the Leaders for Engaged and Active Parents (LEAP) Program has been actively working in East Oakland public schools to support their family engagement work. This work includes organizing and building strong Parent Action Teams (PATs) with parent leaders with each PLAN school-site partner.
At REACH Academy, PLAN’s LEAP program is working with parent volunteers in their PAT to prepare and organize for their upcoming Reach Academy Second Annual Cultural Celebration on April 25th 2018. Parents are excited for this Celebration as a way to build school community by sharing traditions, activities and food with other parents and staff. Parents are calling the event a “Cultural Fair” where families will have chance to share their family’s traditions such a particular cultural dish and music. The Cultural Fair will be a day of celebration for REACH families, and a day of sharing with the community. Parents outreaching to other families who would like to participate in the festivities.
At Madison Park Academy Primary, PLAN’s LEAP Program is supporting parents to develop a volunteer system that consists of a outreach and recruitment plan to bring in other parents who are interested in volunteering, training and piloting a volunteer system in the upcoming year. In the last few months, Madison’s PAT has designed nad lead outreach activities to plug-in interested parents to participate in this new volunteer program.
PLAN Attends National Parent Leaders Gathering Conference
By Gómez Arteaga
In late November 2017, PLAN attended the national gathering of United Parent Leaders Action Network (UPLAN) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Over 111 representatives from 25 of UPLAN’s member groups and several partner organizations attended.
The gathering was an important opportunity for parent leaders to participate in workshops and deepen their knowledge. Workshop sessions included key issues in regional parent organizing, impacts of immigration, work with Black fathers, and other important policies proposals that lift families and students. PLAN hosted one of 16 workshops including leadership development, organizing, and parent-led campaigns. The focus was promoting UPLAN’s policy agenda – real parent engagement, increasing access to early care and education, and protecting immigrant families.
Thank you to the Akonadi Foundaiton for providing the travel funds necessary to make this opportunity possible. Look out, we will be organizing a report back in early 2018.
PLAN Board Updates
PLAN welcomes Salomeh Ghorban to the PLAN Board of Directors. Salomeh is of Iranian descent, born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She studied Religious Studies at UC Santa Barbara, and her passion for healing and community moved her to follow a career in Homeopathic medicine. After, years of study, interning in a free community clinic and working different positions to pay the bills, she took her dream job at La Clinica de la Raza where she managed a school based health center. She spent several years building and improving services for youth at the school-site clinic based at Roosevelt Middle School. She took a break from youth work to pursue other interests, but couldn’t stay away, and returned to Roosevelt Middle School as their College/Career Counselor and has been based there for the last seven years. Salomeh has a passion for the ocean, loves to surf and volunteers as a surf instructor with Brown Girl Surf in her spare time.
This year we also said goodbye to and many thanks to the hard work and dedication of Deborah Nemecek & Rebeca Diaz long-time board members and current PLAN donors! Thank you so much for your work to build parent power!
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