Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Supporting Berkeley Education for Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday is a refreshing change from Gray Thursday, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. When I read Bill Gates' description of Giving Tuesday, I felt energized and grateful.

Here are my three choices for donations for Giving Tuesday:
  1. Writer Coach Connection (WCC): I started volunteering with WCC this fall. I've had the privilege of working directly with two eighth grade students at King Middle School, who regularly amaze and inspire me with their ideas, reflections and powerful voices.  WCC places trained writing coaches in middle and high schools in Berkeley (at Berkeley High School, King Middle School, Longfellow Middle School and Willard Middle School), Oakland, Richmond, Albany and El Cerrito.   Learn more in this video produced by students at Media College Prep High School in Oakland:
"Writer Coach Connection helps address the achievement gap. By serving every student in a given classroom, the Writer Coach Connection helps eliminate the stigma associated with remedial programs and gives the struggling writers who might otherwise fall through the cracks much needed, individualized help." 

2. Berkeley Public Education Foundation (BPEF):

This fall, I've also had the opportunity to volunteer in the High Fives program at Washington Elementary. I was incredibly impressed with the organization and efficiency of the BPEF School Volunteers program to get many dedicated volunteers into all Berkeley public schools.

"BPEF is proud to be the sole organization operating in every Berkeley public school as a catalyst for innovation and student success.  We do this through grants, volunteerism, and advocacy, linking our schools to one another, and to the community."

Here's an overview of the difference that BPEF is making for Berkeley Schools:

3.  Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency (BOSS): BOSS helps homeless families and individuals move out of homelessness in Berkeley, Oakland and Hayward. Many of the students in Berkeley public schools are homeless and require services from programs like BOSS to help them overcome the adversity they face on a daily basis.

"The BOSS Children's Learning Center (CLC) is a specialized after-school program located on-site at Ursula Sherman Village in West Berkeley. It provides daily after-school services and a nurturing place for the homeless children who live there, most of whom have experienced homelessness, domestic violence, family substance abuse, and other crises. On-site services include daily help with homework, one-on-one tutoring by staff and community volunteers, access to computers, books, and school supplies, educational games, arts and music activities, sports and outdoor play, nutritious meals and snacks, family activities, and more."

 Here's an overview of the BOSS Village Program in West Berkeley (you can hear from some children in the Children's Learning Center at 3 minutes in)

To which programs are you donating on this Giving Tuesday? Please share in the comments below or on our Facebook or Twitter pages.

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