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School Smarts Demystifies AUSD Classrooms

On a recent Tuesday night at Alameda’s Maya Lin School, 25 parents sit attentively despite being squished into small chairs. Instructor Gina Acebo stands at the blackboard under a rainbow, next to a column of international flags, and asks, “How do we increase face-to-face communication?”
May 01, 2014

Oakland’s Baby Boot Camp expands to Alameda.

The skies may be cloudy on a late-summer morning at Oakland’s Lake Temescal, but that doesn’t faze Baby Boot Camp owner/instructor Mary McQueen. Cheerfully she greets the day’s group of women and their babies before sending them off, the kids tucked securely in strollers, to warm up with a jog around the perimeter of the parking lot. As the women come back around, McQueen gathers them in a circle near the grass and directs them to begin a couple of sets of jumping jacks. “You got it, Ariana! Nice job, Laura,” she calls. “Grab some water, Megan!” Pretty soon they’re running along a trail into the park to the next station, where they’ll sweat through a round of (aptly-named) burpees—aka squat thrusts—while their babies enjoy the scenery.
December 03, 2013

East Bay Children’s Book Project puts books into kids’ hands.

Oh, the places you’ll go!” Dr. Seuss famously said, and his admiring exclamation certainly applies to the East Bay Children’s Book Project, started in 2005 by a few retired teachers who wanted to give books to kids with little or no access to the written word. Little did the tiny band of literacy warriors know that less than a decade later, the books distributed would number almost a million—and counting.
December 03, 2013