This week, 50,000 Oakland students are waking up to a new routine. With schools closed our community is doing it’s part to slow the spread of the coronavirus and save lives. The disruption this will cause to student learning, family life, and our community’s well-being will be immense. For now, we at GO are focused on the students and families who are most impacted by the rippling effects this virus will have on our community.
The decision to close schools will save lives and it will also cost some families more than others. Crises like this in a community amplify existing inequities even further.
GO has always been a place that brings diverse Oaklanders together on behalf of students. We will continue to serve as a source of accurate information as our community grapples with the decisions to close all schools and shelter in place.
In the past week, we’ve seen our community come together to lift up and support each other and put our most vulnerable friends, students, colleagues, and loved ones first. Here are just a few examples of the heroes in our own community:
- Meals: In one day, OUSD distributed over 25,000 meals to kids as part of their “grab and go” meal program. Among OUSD students, more than 71% are eligible for free and reduced price meals including breakfast and lunch. All OUSD students, and every Oakland child under 18 years old regardless of the school they attend are eligible to pick up food at one of the sites.
- PSAs for Families: Oakland Education Association has put together an ever-growing set of videos in various languages to help families get information about COVID-19, which already has videos in Mam, Tagalog, Spanish, and Mandarin.
- Trying New Ways of Learning and Connecting: We’ve seen our teachers go above and beyond by creating YouTube channels for Oakland students, holding individual video conferences, mailing home learning packets, putting grade-by-grade lessons online for families, and finding ways to keep engaging with their students.
- Sharing Information: Organizations like The Oakland REACH are pulling together information for families on Facebook.
We would love to hear from you! Send us what you’re seeing: stories of members of our community doing the great work to support our community in a time of uncertainty.
Please also let us know if there are needs for school children and their families we can help with and amplify – we want to help our network of thousands of equity-focused Oaklanders to know where help is needed so that we can step up as a community and meet those needs.
GO Oakland‘s office is closed for now, with the mandatory shelter in place order, but our team will be working virtually for the foreseeable future and will continue to advocate for our community.
We look forward to amplifying these appreciations and needs in the next few weeks. Please send us what you’re seeing today!
Here are some resources for parents and educators at this time:
- Education companies offering free resources due to school closures
- Common sense education tools
- Emerson Collective Resources for Remote Learning
- Great Schools Learning Guides
- Devices and Internet Services for OUSD students
Everyone is learning right now, including us. GO will be here in the long run to bring Oaklanders from all corners of our community together to seek practical solutions to our toughest challenges. We hope you are staying healthy.