OUSD teacher Shartresa Nixon knows the power of volunteerism in the classroom—and the effect that Oakland School Volunteers have on her students at United for Success Academy Middle School, where she has taught for nine years.
“Volunteers become part of our community and increase student learning and engagement,” she says. “I love working with community members and my students enjoy hearing other voices and being introduced to new things. Volunteers help make our learning space more fun and meaningful.”
Shartresa connected with staff from the Ed Fund’s Oakland School Volunteer program at a literacy event.
“I told them my goals for the year for the reading and Black History Month events, which I plan for my students and school site. From there, she has continued sharing information with me about events, volunteers, and more.”
Volunteers enhance her teaching and the overall school environment, she says. “My network is full of volunteers. I would not be able to do half the things I do during the school year if it were not for volunteers.”
“I’ve been teaching literally half of my life. I have worked at every level of education from preschool to summer camps, after-school programs, elementary and middle school, and higher education,” she says.
She gained insight from every experience about the value of having community members in her classroom.
“My goal is to work with volunteers who will continue to come back and support the campus each year. And I want them to invite and encourage others to do the same!”
Shartresa is currently the United for Success Academy AVID site coordinator and teaches Reading Intervention. She is an OUSD 2022-23 Teacher of the Year, and co-founder and advisor for the Black Student Union, in which all students—Black and non-Black students of all grade levels can learn about and celebrate the accomplishments of African-Americans.
For information about Oakland School Volunteers, contact email@example.com.