The Oakland Public Education Fund (“The Ed Fund”) celebrated 20 years of leading the development of community resources in Oakland public schools at Chabot Space & Science Center on September 29, 2023 during our first in-person gala since the pandemic.
We were thrilled to have a variety of guests join us, including Mayor Sheng Thao, Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) Chief Academic Officer Sondra Aguilara, auctioneer and Warriors Hype Man Franco Finn, emcee Kennan Scott, and former Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. In addition to leaders from the corporate, philanthropic, and community sectors, we hosted Oakland teachers, OUSD leaders, and other guests of honor.
The event started with a welcome from student cheerleaders, project demonstrations from TechLink students, and a silent auction followed by a speaking program that included a reading by Oakland Youth Poet Laureate finalist, Maya Ravenau-Bey.
Two notable partners, Helen Bulwik and David Silver, were each named 2023 Community Champion Award recipients for their work advancing educational equity in Oakland public schools. PG&E and The PG&E Corporation Foundation were also recognized for their ongoing commitment to digital access in education, and Salesforce was recognized for having invested over $52M in Oakland schools since 2016 for middle school computer science programs, math teacher coaching, newcomer student supports, principal innovation, and community volunteering in OUSD.
We concluded with an announcement of our new A to Z Fund Endowment which will guarantee support for Oakland students and educators for years to come. Seeded with a combined $1.5M donation from Greg Tschider and Jennifer Otte as well as an anonymous donor who gave through the Jewish Community Federation, our goal is to grow this endowment to $5M to serve as a sustainable funding source for A to Z grants for years to come.
We are fortunate to be able to assist in ensuring that A to Z grants will be available to teachers in perpetuity. This investment not only helps students—it’s an investment in our vibrant Oakland community. – Greg Tschider
After an exciting live auction and call-to-cause, by the end of the night we had raised over $426,000 to support the Ed Fund’s core mission and programs including the A to Z Fund, which offers mini-grants to teachers for professional development and innovative, enriching learning opportunities like field trips, music, sports, and other underfunded opportunities.
These experiences can inspire students to explore the world beyond their classrooms. From first-grade trips to the zoo to middle and high school college visits, students can learn, grow, and imagine an exciting future. – Ed Fund Executive Director Alexandria Medina
Over the past 20 years, the Ed Fund has raised over $200 million for Oakland kids, placed more than 10,000 volunteers in local classrooms, created community partnerships, awarded more than $1 million in A to Z mini-grants to educators for school and classroom projects or professional development, and fiscally sponsored over 150 education-related projects.
We are grateful to our guests who helped create a successful and memorable evening – and our most successful gala to date – in service of Oakland public schools. We are honored to celebrate together the ways the Ed Fund has advanced as an organization and amplified our service of Oakland students, educators, and school communities over the past twenty years, and look forward to the next twenty years.
For more information about how to get involved in supporting Oakland public schools, email email@example.com.