Oakland Thrives works to ensure that all of Oakland’s children and youth thrive in school and are prepared for college, career, and community success and that our educational systems are aligned with public and private sector partners providing essential support to families.

Early Literacy (Pre-K to 3rd Grade)

Research mapping early educational outcomes to longer-term academic success has shown that children who do not read proficiently by the end of third grade are up to four times more likely to leave school without a diploma than proficient readers and that Black and Hispanic children who are not reading proficiently in third grade are twice as likely as similar white children to not graduate from high school. At the end of the 2018-2019 school year, only 19% of Oakland Unified School District’s OUSD) Black 3rd graders and 24% of Latino 3rd graders were prepared to perform proficiently on the English Language Arts Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBAC), a measure of mastery of grade-level reading and writing standards; in comparison, 75% of white 3rd graders were prepared to demonstrate proficiency on the same test that same year. These disparities are unacceptable, and now, on the heels of a massive two-plus year disruption to education as a result of a deadly global pandemic, there is greater urgency than ever before to interrupt the inequities in our systems.

Strategies for Success 

Oakland Thrives supports Oakland Unified School District and local nonprofit partners to align stakeholders around key, research-based, and community-driven strategies to support and accelerate literacy outcomes for Oakland’s young children, particularly those historically underprepared by our systems. By aligning investments and partners around “what works” to ensure children are reading on grade level by 3rd grade, and by designing a measurement strategy to connect the dots between systems changes and student outcomes, we hope to close the opportunity gap for good and ensure that all of Oakland’s children are equipped with the tools they need to pursue and achieve their dreams.

Advisory & Community Engagement

  • Cares for Learning
  • City of Oakland, Office of Mayor Libby Schaaf
  • Eat.Learn.Play
  • Educate 78
  • Families in Action
  • Oakland Literacy Coalition
  • Oakland Promise
  • Oakland REACH
  • Oakland Unified School District
  • Rainin Foundation
  • Reading Partners
  • Rogers Family Foundation

To get involved

For more information, email Oakland Thrives CEO, Melanie Moore at Melanie@oaklandthrives.org.