We’re thrilled to announce the grantees for our Fall 2017 A to Z Fund Mini-grants. From field trips that inspire and grow new life skills to projects that rejuvenate on-campus science labs, libraries, and arts classrooms, each one of the grantees will invite and support Oakland students to dream bigger and explore possibilities they might not have imagined otherwise.


Big thanks to everyone who has contributed to our A to Z Fund since it launched in October 2016—you made these mini-grants possible! Altogether, we granted nearly $40,000 to schools for 35 amazing projects. We look forward to sharing stories from each grantee in our emails and on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Pre-K & TK Grantees


• Laurel CDC: field trip to Monterey Bay Aquarium for students to get a unforgettable, hands-on experience of ocean life studied in the classroom.


• United Nations CDC: updated storage and outdoor toys and supplies that will encourage students to engage in structured play, including more sand for the sandbox!


• Lockwood CDC: transportation to and from Lamos Farm and Pumpkin Patch as well as supplies for related activities and food projects before and after the field trip.


• La Escuelita: books for a new Makerspace Library that teach, inspire and model the “Maker Mindset” for students.


• Lincoln Elementary School: books, supplies, and visiting artists for students’ study of famous artists and techniques, supporting self-confidence and creation of their own portfolio of masterpieces.

K-12 Grantees


• Oakland Technical High School: renovations and materials for an ER-type clinical space where students can practice real-world application of health sciences and get inspired to pursue careers in medicine.


• Sojourner Truth Independent Study High School: field trips and garden supplies for students’ study of Ethnobotany, including a hike on the Ohlone Medicinal Plant Trail and creation of a Medicinal Plant Garden.


• Oakland International High School: year-long storytelling project in which students explore social justice themes in children’s literature, improving pronunciation, reading comprehension, and English fluency skills.


• Oakland International High School: supplies and a visiting chef for production of a class cookbook, engaging students to create recipes, build math and collaboration skills, and try new foods as part of a class feast.


• East Oakland Pride Elementary School: sports equipment for a new Healthy Choices unit that will inspire students (all of whom qualify for free lunch) to explore healthy food and exercise options.


• Bridges Academy: grade-appropriate science shows featuring visiting scientists from Lawrence Hall of Science introducing principles of electricity to get students school-wide excited about science.


• Acorn Woodland Elementary: fluency library that gives older students reading below grade level a diverse assortment of books to read, ensuring they stay engaged in building literacy.


• Martin Luther King Jr. and Lafayette Elementary Schools: age-appropriate art instruction for seven Special Education classrooms from a Museum of Children’s Art visiting artist.


• Cleveland Elementary: field trip aboard a Marine Science Institute research vessel, where students will practice scientific method principles and lab skills while learning about human impact on the bay.


• Garfield Elementary: field trip to San Francisco Ferry Building farmer’s market to expand students’ awareness of sustainable food system and ideas to implement in community garden and student-led business at their school.


• Think College Now: transportation costs for field trips that will take students to a variety of local venues they might not otherwise see on their own, including the Creativity Museum in San Francisco.

A to Z Fund Spring 2017 Grantees pictured on this page (clockwise from above): new planter box at Manzanita CDC, Dungeons & Dragons Club at Roses in Concrete, International Community School Trader Joe’s field trip, Acorn Woodland environmental justice camping trip.


• Oakland SOL: transportation, event, and production costs for publishing student books inspired by study of myths, legends, and traditions in their culture, and sharing with the wider community.


• United for Success Academy: instruments for students to learn and perform music concepts, song composition, and poetry writing through study of traditional Mexican Son Jarocho with a visiting artist.


• Life Academy & United for Success Academy: new books—manga, graphic novels, popular fiction series, and non-English books—to engage students (especially reluctant readers) with the recently re-opened campus library.


• Madison Park Academy: field trip to visit UC Berkeley campus and a fun scavenger hunt that gets first-year middle school students thinking about how classroom studies now connect with their college future.


• Roots International Academy: hands-on science activities, field trips, and professional development for teachers, aimed at getting more students excited about learning science.


• Bret Harte Middle School: new bilingual books, refreshments, and other materials for a “Literacy Lunch in the Library” event, during which families and students will learn about literacy resources at the school.


• Coliseum College Prep Academy: rocket launcher and other materials for engineering and lab activities as part of project-based learning in which students integrate scientific learning with social emotional skill building.


• Rudsdale Continuation & Met West High Schools: workshops and production of student-authored poetry books reflecting study of social justice themes and students’ experiences.


• Bret Harte Middle School: classroom materials and a field trip to Angel Island for newcomer students studying immigration through history, statistics, and literature.


• Fremont High School: art supplies, transportation, and guest facilitators for trauma-informed, social-change project that gives students creative outlets and tools for self-expression, journalism, and digital storytelling.


• Rudsdale High School: equipment for after-school program that develops students’ skills and creativity to perform, record, and produce an album that they will share with the community.


• Fremont High School: creation of a safe, quiet campus space with specialized sensory accommodations for students to practice emotional regulation skills and improve self-management in the classroom.


• Rudsdale Newcomer High School: games and equipment students can use during lunchtime and morning welcome circles to foster community building and social emotional skill development.


• Oakland High School: Look n’ Cook Classroom Kit, associated materials, and ingredients for Special Education students to build life skills, social skills, functional academics, and vocational skills.


• East Oakland Pride Elementary: playground equipment for use during recess and physical education classes to reduce conflict, increase choice, and ensure no students miss out on recess activities.


• Howard Elementary: equipment and materials for lunchtime STEM social club that invites autistic and typically developing students to collaborate on fun and simple engineering projects.


• Global Family Elementary: new playground equipment to increase student engagement, reduce conflict, create a stronger school community, and promote healthy, structured play.


• Parker Elementary School: overnight outdoor education camp where students can learn about the world around them in a fun, engaging, hands-on way.


• All Schools: books and local author visits for students in classrooms across the district, facilitated by District Library Manager.