Back in 2009, at a White House music series event, Michelle Obama reiterated an old idea when she told guests, "There is no better example of democracy than a jazz ensemble." Oakland native Wesley J. Watkins IV turned the idea into a new way to educate students.
Whitnee Garrett is being tracked. Every step she takes in her history class at Roots International Academy is mapped. The 39 responses elicited from her students during a 20-minute span are recorded and tabulated. Her lesson plan on black history is broken down into segments, everything from the 15-minute introduction to the 15-minute class-ending group work. Just like game tape from an athletic event, every move is dissected and analyzed.
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?”
By scholastic accomplishment standards, this year’s crop of outstanding graduating seniors is exceptional. But their achievements go deeper than that.
Software engineer Eric Maundu starts Kijani Grows to help farming in his native Kenya and takes the technology to an Oakland school.
A melting pot of farmers share agriculture practices at a community garden, New Roots, at Laney College.
Kimberly Bryant of San Francisco is hoping to shape the next Mark Zuckerberg or Sergey Brin, but in her mind, this new tech superstar looks a lot like her daughter.
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.