At our second-ever Women of Impact Breakfast, our own Celene Alva, Literacy Specialist, and Eva Gutierrez Cahill, School-Based Program Manager, led a discussion on how our program demographics mirror the demographics of students experiencing the largest opportunity gap in the Oakland Unified School District. In this session they focused on the 49% of our participants from the Latinx community and our tailored efforts to adapt our literacy programming to support English Language Learners (ELL).
OUSD data demonstrates that 33% of students speak Spanish at home, and we know that many students arrive at school only speaking Spanish. When introducing our Literacy Program in schools with high percentages of Latinx and/or ELL students, we conduct our K-2 literacy instruction and curriculum in Spanish as well as English, paralleling school days to align with what they are already learning and training our staff to modify as needed.
Our 2021-2022 school year data indicated that 96% of our English learners (up from 91% in the previous year) made growth toward grade-level literacy, with 67% ending the year at grade level, compared to only 30% ending at grade level in OUSD.
Attendees also learned about our summer volunteering opportunities, and many signed up on the spot to become essay mentors, field trip chaperones, and daily program volunteers at our Concordia Park summer site for girls in 1st – 7th grade.