Monday, February 20, 2017

February 16 Oakland Tech Collaborative Partners Meeting


Getting to Meet Some Oakland Tech Partners


On Thursday, February 16, 2017 (2017- where does the time fly?) Community Schools Manager Dawn Humphrey hosted the first Oakland Tech Collaborative Partners Meeting of 2017. Got to meet a few members of the Oakland Tech Staff as well as other organizations working with Oakland Tech. 

Now we all went around the room and introduced ourselves and spoke briefly about the work we do at Oakland Tech. So... I didn't catch all the names and didn't think to take pictures till the end of the meeting, so please bear with me. Among the people I met were:

John Fuentes, BAC Resources. His work is in Alameda and after the meeting asking me if we could do any tutoring in Alameda. I will email him later today, February 20. 

Maddie- Just out of college and working in Health Education

Anderea Perez, I had met her earlier. She looks so young, I thought she was a high school student. She is in fact the After School Coordinator. She took over from Carlos in December and oversees the Library Study Time as well as other after school programs including our tutors. 

Will (didn't quite catch the name) - He is a peer tutor

Michelle- She is from Catholic Charities and works with something called the P2 Project

Didn't catch her name, but she heads the debate team, and has a desire to get students of color on the team. She has other ideas as well and I hope to talk to her more. 

Chris - A program called Making the Grade

KC - very dedicated tech guy. Works on school events and is auditorium manager

Didn't catch this woman's name- again. But she is in charge of the Restorative Justice Program and she's doing a good job. She gave out a card that appear on the bottom of this post. Great questions and tips. 

Asha Vitatoe - Program Manager of Mentoring in Medicine and Science. 

I probably missed a few, but I'll make it up at our next meeting on March 16!






Dawn Humphrey, Community Schools Manager

Well, Ansel Adams I'm not. On the Right is Michelle from Catholic Charities

That's Andrea Perez, After School Coordinator in the center. She still looks like a high school student. To her left is Maddie from Health Services and to her right is Will, a peer tutor








Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Parent Night Dinner

On February 8, we had a Parent Night Dinner. 100 Black Men hosted and Aspire and Achieve and African American Male Achievement joined in to speak with parents and students and began our program to include Parents support as our partner.

After a fine dinner at Geoffrey's Inner Circle there was a presentation by the three programs followed by a lot of group discussions and camaraderie. This was a great first step in including Parents as a partner in our combined program to give our students support from all parts of their community. Lamar Hancock, the teacher of the AAMA Manhood Development Class, announce another Parent Dinner on Thursday, February 23 at Oakland Tech at 6:00 PM. It will be a pot luck. We will all be there to continue building our partnerships.

Aspire and Achieve announced plans for a writing workshop in March as well as taking our students to visit the Museum of African Diaspora in San Francisco on March 30. AAMA also announced visits to Cal Berkeley and Skyline College. 100 Black Men also announced planned outings and continued mentoring.

Also 100 Black Men and Aspire and Achieve are making grant proposals for funding to extend our programs to three high schools and six middle schools. If we get the funding we can provide support our students year round. Please keep these proposals and ideas in your prayers.

Ricky Jackson, now in college, spoke to the families about the help and support he received from  our programs,  Sitting next to him is Ahmad Marry

English and History Tutor, Thomas Demerath speaking about  his working with Ahmad

Our wonderful server and Chicago Bulls fan, Diansio

The Geoffrey of Geoffrey's Inner Circle. It is through his generosity and loyalty to LABC and 100 Black Men  that allowed us to have a great space with delicious food and friendly service. 


Tiffany works on filling out Parent Survey
100 Black Men member, Phillip Barnett, welcomes the parents and students, and talks to them about the  combined partnership of 100 Black Men, Aspire and Achieve, and African American Male Achievement and how we work together to help our Kings. .
 b
Pastor Allison, seated next to Kedar, was there talking to parents and students. Throughout the evening we all spoke to the parents about our goals and how their support makes a big difference in helping their sons succeed


Monday, January 16, 2017

Studying How To Study: An Aspire and Achieve Workshop


After school on Thursday, December 8, Aspire and Achieve hosted a study skills workshop for 12 freshmen at Oakland Tech. Specifically designed by Tom Demerath (semiweekly tutor, with specialty in writing and history) and me (Max Shapiro, weekly tutor, with specialty in math and science), the workshop consisted of two 25 minute segments, the first honing in on time management skills and the second emphasizing studying specifically for math.  The students were divided into two groups of six and rotated between both workshop segments.

In the time management segment, Tom (with an assist from Katie Crawford, a career counselor at UC Berkeley) invited the students to think about their “big picture” goals (e.g., what they want to accomplish in a year, or in high school, or in college), to share with the group what tasks those goals require, and to visualize those tasks superimposed onto a daily schedule (in the form of a pie chart, with more of the pie taken up by more time-consuming tasks).  Students then learned how to use their phones (via a smartphone application called “30/30”) to manage their schedules and to measure their daily progress.  Students felt appreciative for the reflection time and empowered to hold themselves accountable for their daily responsibilities.

In the math study skills segment, students acquainted themselves with Wolfram Alpha, a Google-like search engine that is phone-accessible and especially leverageable in a math context.  While working on problems in pairs, students gained experience using Wolfram Alpha to figure out the meaning of unfamiliar math terminology and to visualize and solve math equations.  Students learned that the idea of a “math person” is a myth—nobody is born with perfect math knowledge, but interested learners can acquire that knowledge through concerted effort and recourse to relevant resources.

The workshop was a resounding success! Many thanks to the students for their attention and effort, to the Oakland Tech staff members for their permission to use their classrooms, and to Ike’s sandwiches for their postgame nourishment.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Aspire and Achieve Testimonial from Rickey Jackson

Rickey Jackson graduated from Oakland Technical High School last June. He was part of our Aspire and Achieve Program and is now at Cal State East Bay. On another posting I will put in the speech he gave at graduation. For now, though I want so post his testimonial to Aspire and Achieve:


Aspire and Achieve
Over the past year, I have been helped by all types of people, but the individuals under Aspire and Achieve are by far the best. It was more than just the work that we did, we made a great connection with one another. I felt as if I know them on a different level. They really cared about helping me with my work and making sure that I understood everything that I did.
Max Shapiro, who was my Math tutor with Aspire and Achieve, would spend many hours of his time on weekends, on the phone with me and on Skype helping me to understand math. Math had become one of my worst subjects, but recently I have gotten so much better at it. Working with Max is great, he is a great teacher, also he is very patient and takes his time when he is working with me.
Thomas Demerath, who is my English tutor with Aspire and Achieve, I feel like I made the foremost connection with, helped me study for my EPT test. He showed me how to write a whole essay from just a few lines. That was one of my biggest challenges, I didn’t know how to expand my thoughts. I was able to improve my writing skills so much, I learned how to correct my punctuation, and I can write essays better. My teacher began to notice. It got to the point that she thought that I had been cheating, but then I had to show her that I was the one doing the work.
Aspire and Achieve did more for me then just tutoring, for example things that impacted my whole education. They help me with fees to go up to Sonoma to take a mandatory test that I needed for college. If they did not help me, It would have been hard for me to make my way there. They were able to help me with my fees for my trip to New York with the African American Male Achievement Student Leadership Council. I wouldn’t have been able to get around or pay for food while I was out there without them.
The biggest difference was that I felt as if they really took helping me seriously, also I felt as if it wasn't just for a paycheck the feeling was that they actually cared about my education. You could tell more and more each time that we worked together. I greatly appreciate everything that they have done for me and I can say that they made a huge impact on my life.



Rickey Jackson

Monday, October 10, 2016

Thursday at Oakland Tech

Thursday, October 3, 2016
I don't usually put in links, but the one I put in Facebook does a good job of telling the story

Monday, October 3, 2016

Aspire and Achieve English Tutor at work




 My new schedule finally let me visit our English/History Tutor, Thomas Demerath at work with two of our students. It was a fun experience to watch Tom and his students work together. 

Tom helps them with their daily homework and gets them to think about the bigger picture. Looking to college as a goal and helping them plan the best way for them to get there. 

It was great to see Tom and the students work together. Our Aspire and Achieve Program is fortunate to have such dedicated tutors as Tom Demerath and Max Shapiro working to bring out the best in the students they tutor.



Tom and Kidus discuss possible options of homework assignment. Notice also the chips and cup for soda. Added afternoon energy keeps the students focused.

Tom and Ronell discuss ways to make the most of his senior year by ways to raise his GPA and have more college options and scholarship opportunities.

Field Trip to see Othello at Cal Shakes in Orinda

On Friday, September 23, Aspire and Achieve along with AAMA took 21 students and 4 chaperones to see a special Student Matinee performance of Othello at the Cal Shakes Theater in Orinda.
 The performance was wonderful as was the Cal Shakes Staff. We were given a grove area to have our lunch and a staff member came by and had some of the kids read from the script. First a little fast and then really fast. It was to get the students acquainted with the speech and rhythm of Shakespeare. 
It was a fantastic event, and I sent a thank you note to Cal Shakes:

We at Aspire and Achieve, African American Male Achievement (AAMA) Manhood Development Class and Oakland Technical High School, would like to express our deepest admiration and gratitude for a wonderful experience for our students! We were so impressed with the organization, support, instruction and friendliness of the entire Cal Shakes Staff. The production was outstanding, and the interaction with the students was handled very well.

Aspire and Achieve is working with AAMA and 100 Black Men to provide resources and support to encourage, engage and empower our students. This was our first outing of this new school year and we couldn’t have picked a better one.

Thanks again and our very best wishes!