It’s hard to believe that in just a few weeks, we’ll celebrate the end of 2022 and ring in 2023. Like you, I’m thinking of the good things that happened throughout the year—like our kids and teachers finally returning to the classroom this past fall! Our teachers and students did some creative, excellent work in their online classes during the pandemic. Last year we were all tentatively back in the classroom, but there was constant uncertainty that could change as we continued battling COVID outbreaks and restrictions.
Ultimately, there is nothing like face-to-face, hands-on experiences to inspire and challenge kids, keep them interested in learning, and explore the world around them beyond their kitchen tables. I don’t think we’ll ever take that for granted again.
At the Ed Fund, we kicked off several exciting initiatives, with more to come. Back in March, we raised $100,000 for emergency assistance for Oakland teachers. Earlier this fall, Salesforce, one of our dedicated Ed Fund partners, announced their $6.5 million investment into the Oakland Unified School District and the Oakland Public Education Fund for the 2022-23 school year. And in October, we announced the Ed Fund Community United for Educational Success (CUES) project. We’re collaborating with community-based organizations in support of OUSD’s efforts to increase regular student attendance.
It will be exciting to see the positive impact these cooperative efforts will have on Oakland students, teachers, and the entire community in the coming year!
Looking forward, the Ed Fund’s 20th anniversary will be at the forefront in 2023. For 20 years, we’ve raised over $200 million for schools and programs. We’ve recruited, trained, and placed nearly 10,000 Oakland School Volunteers. We’ve awarded hundreds of grants to local educators through our A to Z Fund, and fiscally sponsored more than 100 schools and programs.
I’m proud to be part of this amazing legacy—and to help lead the way into the Ed Fund’s future. But that’s not something one person can do alone. It takes a great team—and that includes not only the dedicated, passionate Ed Fund staff. YOU are part of the team, too— whether you work in an OUSD school or program, volunteer, or are a parent, educator, or community member. We’re all working together to help Oakland students learn, grow, and thrive.
I wish you all safe and meaningful holidays, and a bright and beautiful 2023!
– Ali Medina, Executive Director