Wednesday, May 22, 2013

La Escuelita - The Little Engine That Could

Oakland Adult School once served over 20,000 people.

They created their own wonderful CBET material - Sharing English - a terrific DVD series to help families learn how to help their children succeed in school, use the public library, participate in community life, and build good health physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Now Oakland Adult School is but a few classes.

La Escuelita Family Literacy is one of them.

La Escuelita Family Literacy in REd for Unity Adult Education

And they are the little engine that could.

Hit the "read more" link to learn why.

Today, Wednesday, May 22nd, at 5:30 pm at La Escuelita Elementary School (1050 2nd Ave in Oakland, the Oakland Unifed School Board  is voting to decide about cutting the remaining Adult Ed classes, including La Escuelita Family Literacy.

This is terrible news.  And it does not make sense.  Prop 30 passed.  California has a budget surplus.  Every day, more and more Legislators say, "Please!  Don't close Adult Schools!  They are important!  We understand!   We are working with Gov. Brown to create a plan that will renew and rebuild Adult Education!"  Every community needs Adult Education but Oakland really, really needs it.

Oakland District's high school graduation rate is 58.9 percent and the dropout rate is 27.7 percent.

27% of Oakland's K12 students are English Learners.  We can safely assume their parents need ESL classes, as well.  And we know that the best way to ensure a child's success is mother's literacy and education level.  A parent who speaks English can help a child succeed in an English-speaking school.  A parent who can't faces a multitude of challenges, which has a ripple effect on the child.

Yet...  facing just such challenges... the students of the La Escuelita Family Literacy are not giving up.

They are saying, "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can, I think I can... I think I can!!!"

They will be there at the school board meeting today. 

They are asking OUSD to keep their program open.

They are asking for Adult Education to be renewed and rebuilt.

They are asking to be part of the process.

You can support them.

Attend the meeting.

"Like" their Facebook page.

Write a letter to the editor of the Oakland Tribune.

Email the Oakland School Board.

Email your own Legislators and ask them to amend the May Revise so that Designated Funding comes now, rather than later, so that Adult Schools on the brink of closure can remain open and begin to rebuild.

Remember, this is a Statewide issue.

One by one, 70 Adult Schools have been closed and 20 more are slated for closure.

But working together, one by one, they can  be re-opened. 

And La Escuelita is showing us how.

It's not about counting the odds.  It's not about predicting the outcome.

It's about deciding where you want to go, getting on the train, and putting forth the effort.

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.

Sure, we can.  Se, se puede.

From the Classroom Struggle Blog:

Demands of the family Literacy students at CCPA: 
  1. Do not remove the classes of Family Literacy and GED for adults in Oakland.
  2. We need free classes, with child care, in our communities and with consistent teachers.
  3. We demand to have English classes in the evenings for parents that do not have the opportunity to attend during the day.  As one of the requirements of the possible immigration reform is to have basic English skills, we need these classes available for all immigrants.
  4. We demand the return of the adult classes and schools that were closed 3 years ago.
  5. We demand no cuts. Not for our kids and not for adult students.
  6. When the district makes decisions about funding, you don’t take our opinions as parents and adult education students into account. We want to be taken into account when decisions are made about our schools.
Why save adult education?
  1. The district’s slogan is: “Full-service community schools,” yet they are cutting classes that serve the community. This is very contradictory.
  2. We need to prioritize funds for schools not for jails. Why are we closing schools and opening prisons?
  3. The district received tremendous support from our community to pass Proposition 30 and bring in additional funds. The money is there. Now we are asking for your support.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for your incredible support...!
    Victoria Carpenter- Family Lit / La Escuelita, Oakland