Welcome to the Oakland Rotary Kinder Prep website!

In 2014-15, KinderPrep intends to expand and enhance its mission, supporting the Oakland Unified School District's Transitional Kindergarten teachers and students. Multiple studies have shown that when children start learning early, they are more successful throughout their education and their lives.  

In deep collaboration with Oakland Unified and other non-profit agencies KinderPrep is providing supplies, books, volunteers, and teacher professional development so Oakland's children will have a better quality education, the most valuable resource available to them to succeed in life.

 

Here is an example from a local newspaper of the kind of work we do.

Transitional Kindergarten classes receives books from Oakland Rotary #3 Club (SJ Mercury News 03/05/13)

The transitional kindergarten class at La Escuelita Elementary School got a visit Tuesday from two members of the Oakland Rotary #3 Club, who carried a box of new books for the class. Dr. Peter Sherris and Peter Turner presented the box of books to teacher Amy Schwager and then stuck around to read to the four- and five-year-olds. La Escuelita was not the only school to receive books. Other members of the Oakland Rotary club fanned out to ten schools, delivering a total of 300 books to transitional kindergarten classes in the Oakland Unified School District. The club has “adopted” the “Kinderprep” classes to ensure that this new grade level has the necessary supplies. The club has also partnered with Philanthropic Ventures Foundation, Citi National Bank, and Raising a Reader to provide educational toys, extra money for class supplies, more books, and two field trips to the classes.
 

Dr. Peter Sherris and Peter Turner, both from the Oakland Rotary #3, deliver a box of books to Transitional Kindergarten teacher Amy Schwager for her class of 25 children at La Escuelita Elementary School in Oakland, Calif., on Tuesday, March 5, 2013. The Oakland Rotary Club is delivering books to Transitional Kindergarten classes at 10 Oakland Unified School District schools. (Laura A. Oda/Staff)

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Roger Ou and Jenna Nguyen look through some of the new books in the Transitional Kindergarten class at La Escuelita Elementary School in Oakland, Calif., on Tuesday, March 5, 2013. The Oakland Rotary #3 Club delivered books to Transitional Kindergarten classes at 10 Oakland Unified School District schools. (Laura A. Oda/Staff)

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Dr. Peter Sherris reads to Santiago Mendoza in the Transitional Kindergarten class at La Escuelita Elementary School in Oakland, Calif., on Tuesday, March 5, 2013 after delivering a box of books to the class from the Oakland Rotary #3. The Oakland Rotary Club is delivered books to Transitional Kindergarten classes at 10 Oakland Unified School District schools. (Laura A. Oda/Staff)

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Peter Turner from the Oakland Rotary #3 sticks around to read some of the books they donated to, from left, Jose Mendoza and Jing Zhang, as Roger Ou and Jenna Nguyen look through some of the new books in the Transitional Kindergarten class at La Escuelita Elementary School in Oakland, Calif., on Tuesday, March 5, 2013. The Oakland Rotary #3 Club delivered books to Transitional Kindergarten classes at 10 Oakland Unified School District schools. (Laura A. Oda/Staff)

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Peter Turner from the Oakland Rotary #3 sticks around to read some of the books they donated to, from left, Jose Mendoza, Jing Zhang, and Windia He in the Transitional Kindergarten class at La Escuelita Elementary School in Oakland, Calif., on Tuesday, March 5, 2013. The Oakland Rotary #3 Club delivered books to Transitional Kindergarten classes at 10 Oakland Unified School District schools. (Laura A. Oda/Staff)

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Dr. Peter Sherris reads to, from left, Santiago Mendoza, Cecilia Li, Stella Young, and Yancey Alegre-Pacheco in the Transitional Kindergarten class at La Escuelita Elementary School in Oakland, Calif., on Tuesday, March 5, 2013 after delivering a box of books to the class from the Oakland Rotary #3 Club. The Oakland Rotary Club delivered books to Transitional Kindergarten classes at 10 Oakland Unified School District schools. (Laura A. Oda/Staff)

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The following article from the San Francisco Chronicle explains more about Transitional Kindergarten.  Please peruse our pages to find out how YEC is accomplishing its worthwhile goal while having fun doing it!  We welcome you to join us, meet some fantastic kids, teachers, parents, and Rotarians, and improve lives!


What is transitional kindergarden and why is it important?
 

 

 

From SFGate
Jill Tucker 
Updated 7:39 a.m., Monday, August 27, 2012 

 

Substitute teacher Sandra Lampear reads a story to Maia Rinaudo (left) and Miles Bernson in a transitional kindergarten class in San Francisco. Photo: Lea Suzuki, The Chronicle / SF

The little girl in pink shoes, a pink shirt and a pink hair band stood defiantly in her public school classroom as she declared her age, which was definitely not 4.

"I'm 4 1/2," Brennan said adamantly.

In fact, the pint-size San Franciscan is a little older than that.

She'll turn 5 in November, a birth date that made her too young to start kindergarten this year, but among the first to qualify for an extra year of free public education called transitional kindergarten. (The school district would not allow publication of Brennan's last name.)

 

 About 40,000 California children, age 4 and with November birthdays, qualified for the post-preschool, prekindergarten program - created after the state decided to move back the birthday cutoff for kindergarten entry from Dec. 2 to Nov. 1 this year.



 
 Above: Melanie Blocker talks with Armon Lampkins as he lies on her lap in transitional kindergarten class at Tule Elk Park Early Education School. Photo: Lea Suzuki, The Chronicle / SF
 

The new law has eliminated a conundrum long faced by California parents of children born in the fall.

Even though their kids qualified for kindergarten, many chose to hold their children back to allow for an extra year of maturation.

Other parents opted to put their 4-year-olds into elementary school during their first year of eligibility, sometimes because they couldn't afford another year of preschool.

Yet too many of those 4-year-old kindergartners have struggled academically, socially or both, and many were held back a year, which put them at risk of future academic failure, teachers said.

The new law prevents those 4-year-olds from enrolling in kindergarten, but gives them an alternative.
 

 

 1st change since 1891 
 Left: Older 4-year-olds Frederick Rothert (left), Brennan, Justin de la Cruz Torres and Alex Jin build with magnetic tiles in their transitional class. Photo: Lea Suzuki, The Chronicle / SF


With transitional kindergarten classes just starting in some districts, it is unclear how many families will take advantage of an additional year of free public education, the first new grade added to the system since 1891. 

Like kindergarten, transitional kindergarten must be offered to families, but is optional. Districts have significant flexibility in how the classes look.

This fall, some are offering it at elementary school sites, either in separate classrooms or combined with kindergarten classes. Others are offering the program at only a few school sites.

In San Francisco, 142 children of about 300 who were eligible enrolled in the district's transitional kindergarten classes, located at five preschool sites.

At Tule Elk Park Early Education School, 44 4-year-old students with November birthdays, including Brennan, finished their first week of transitional kindergarten Friday.

In one classroom, five students huddled spellbound around teacher Megan Haley for a read-aloud of the book "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs."

 

Nolan Long, 4, plays with a helicopter in Miss Melanie's Transitional Kindergarten class at Tule Elk Park Early Education School on Friday, August 24, 2012 in San Francisco, Calif. Photo: Lea Suzuki, The Chronicle / SF
Others played with star stickers or shape blocks, a few painted, and some made meals in a play kitchen.

"I don't like school," declared Alexander Villarce as he sat in a chair and played with plastic chopsticks and a toy truck. He said he'd rather play at home.

But he agreed that things might eventually look up.

 

 "I got new friends," he said, pointing them out in the room. "I've got old friends, but I've got new friends."

Next year's leaders 
Armon Lampkins, 4, works on drawing shapes in Miss Melanie's transitional kindergarten class at Tule Elk Park Early Education School on Friday, August 24, 2012 in San Francisco, Calif. Photo: Lea Suzuki, The Chronicle / SF


With only five days down, it wasn't a bad start to a year aimed at getting students socially and academically ready for the rigors of kindergarten.

"In the past, these kids would have been eligible for kindergarten," Haley said, whether they were ready or not. "Next year, when they go to kindergarten, they'll be the leaders in their classrooms."

And in those classrooms, kindergartners aren't just finger-painting and playing in sandboxes. They now are learning early reading and writing skills as well as basic math. In addition, they have to be able to sit still, listen and work in groups with other children.

Transitional kindergarten classes will bridge preschool and kindergarten, offering play time, painting and, later, early literacy and math skills, said Meenoo Yashar, a director in the San Francisco's Early Education Department.

"What we're trying to do is not be a repeat of preschool and not a repeat of kindergarten," she said.

Across the state, the program will expand over the next two years as the kindergarten cutoff pulls back first to Oct. 1 and then to Sept. 1.

Cutoff dates to change

Starting in 2014, 4-year-olds with birthdays from Sept. 2 to Dec. 1 will be eligible to enroll in transitional kindergarten.

Parents with children who have birthdays outside that eligibility window can petition their district to participate.

"Transitional kindergarten is one of the most exciting and innovative educational reforms California has seen in decades," said Catherine Atkin, president of Preschool California, in a statement. It "will ensure that California's youngest learners are ready to succeed, and that will translate into huge payoffs for academic success."

Jill Tucker is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. E-mail: jtucker@sfchronicle.com

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/education/article/New-in-schools-a-bridge-to-kindergarten

 

Past YEC projects: 

Oakland Rotary's YEC has been active for years.  The efforts of those committees has developed our capacity and commitment to take on a project of the magnitude and scope of KinderPrep.

YEC Hosts School Literacy Nights

In the 2011-2012 school year, YEC partnered with Oakland Parents Literacy Project (OPLP) to host family literacy nights.  From the OPLP newsletter: "Oakland Parents Literacy Project applauds Rotarians who volunteered to serve dinner, read to children and hand out books at Lakeview & Franklin Elementary Schools in February.  A special thanks to Rotarians Michael Cloutier, Suzie Elkind, Mary Geong, Donna Gianoulis, Lorna Padia Markus and Sherry Simmons. You made many children very happy and made us all shine!

Click here to read a review or to see the full OPLP newsletter click here.  Read more about the Oakland Parents Literacy Project atwww.oplp.org.


Oakland Reads Project 


During the 2007-08 through the 2010-2011 school years, YEC conducted the award-winning "Oakland Reads" program.  Each year, Rotary distributed three books to every third grader enrolled in the Oakland Unified School District (traditional and charter) and the Emeryville School District, so that students could start their own home library. In 2009, YEC expanded book distribution to include book sets to kindergarten through second grade classrooms in eleven schools with the greatest need.  In 2010, book delivery expanded to include students at Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland patients and youth in day treatment programs at Lincoln Child Center and the East Bay Agency for Children.  Each year, YEC’s Oakland Reads project distributed over 14,000 books to Oakland and Emeryville school children.  Rotary volunteers assist in coordinating and scheduling book delivery, designing book label design, handing out books to the schools, and coordinating press coverage. This project had an enormous impact, involving over 100 Rotarians visiting 100 classrooms each year. We thank our many financial sponsors as well as the hundreds of Rotarians that made this project possible.
 

Youth and Education Committee: Mission Statement and Business Plan

 

 

Vision

 

A City of Oakland in which children have an equal chance at developing their skills, intellect and talents in order to maximize their happiness, their economic opportunities, and the health and welfare of their families and community.

 

 

 

Mission

 

To provide materials, supplies, enriching experiences and financial support to teachers and their classrooms in the Transitional Kindergarden (TK) program of the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD).

 

 

 

Objectives

 

  1. Promote a program called Rotary KinderPrep both within and outside ORC.
  2. Provide a cash grant to teachers to buy furniture, educational materials, and supplies necessary to provide a high quality educational program to all TK students in OUSD.
  3. Donate age appropriate toys and books to all TK classrooms in the OUSD.
  4. With collaborating donors, teachers, parents and volunteer Rotarians provide at least one field trip to an age appropriate facility for every TK student in OUSD including admission, transportation and the educational program.
  5. In all classrooms where it is requested by the teacher, coordinate at least one volunteer for two hours twice a month.
  6. Raise matching grants and material donations to fund 30% of KinderPrep expenses

 

 

 

Strategies

 

  1. Work with ORC Officers and members to obtain 70% of necessary funding, promote a toy and book drive, and identify field trip locations. 
  2. Recruit classroom volunteers among Rotarians of local clubs.
  3. Collaborate with Be a Mentor and local corporations to expand the number of non-Rotarian classroom volunteers in the TK program.
  4. Utilize Rotarian corporate and philanthropic contacts to obtain matching grants.
  5. Engage 100 Rotarians as volunteers to assist the program.

 

 

 

Action Plan

 

  1. Provide OUSD the cash grant by October 15.
  2. Toys obtained, packed and delivered by December 15
  3. Books obtained, packed and delivered by February 15.
  4. Field trips to be conducted in spring of 2014.
  5. Volunteers to be active beginning October 1, 2013 and the number expanded to meet teacher demand throughout the year.
 
Sponsors