With OUSD Schools Open Once Again for In-person Instruction, Educators Lead Major Fundraising Campaign to Address Learning Loss Among Students; News Conference Set for Tuesday Morning
Press Conference Set for Tuesday Morning
Oakland, CA — Educators across Oakland Unified School District have launched a campaign to help low-income students of color address the learning loss that has occurred over the last year. The StimulusPledge.org website, which raised more than $250,000 in the spring of 2020 for immigrant families financially impacted by the pandemic, is relaunching with a focus on students whose learning has been disproportionately impacted by remote learning. As students return to classrooms for in-person instruction, educators look to raise funds to provide academic intervention and tutoring for low-income students and English Language Learners who have fallen behind.
“Our students have been so excited to be back at school for in-person instruction. We are incredibly grateful for the federal and state funds that may be coming our way to help students catch up,” said Bridges Academy Principal, Anita Iverson-Comelo. “But we know, based on where our students are, that we need all the support we can get. The learning loss has been great and the learning gap is widening for students of color in low-income communities.”
Funds raised will go straight to student support, allocated by OUSD principals who are looking at their student data and identifying the highest needs. At Bridges Academy, three years of state test scores had previously shown increasing proportions of students reading at grade level and overall improvement in reading scores. However, the most recent Reading Inventory scores show a sudden dip in the reading data that reflects student learning loss.
After campuses shut down in March of 2020, learning loss increased as many students had no devices at home to engage in remote learning. Even after students received devices and hotspots for internet connectivity, several dozen students at Bridges did not engage and missed months of online instruction. Additionally, after going solely online, English Language Learners missed out on hands-on learning, student to student interactions and visual aids that make dense academic texts comprehensible. Having funds to help staff provide individual and small group tutoring, will reduce learning loss and address important equity issues affecting many students of color.
Unique in its approach, the Stimulus Pledge campaign is based on a behavioral economics concept called pre-commitment, whereby people commit to taking a specific action with a financial windfall they receive. This concept has been effectively used with tax refunds and is now being applied to federal stimulus checks. Anyone can take the pledge or donate at: https://stimuluspledge.org/
WHAT: Stimulus Pledge Campaign to Address Learning Loss Press Conference
WHEN: 9:30 a.m., Tuesday, April 6
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