Of 100 Oakland students who start 9th grade together, just 46 will start college, and just 15 will graduate from college within 6 years of enrolling. That disparity starts from the very beginning: just 43% of OUSD students enter “kindergarten ready,” as measured by the Kindergarten Observation Form (KOF), administered by First 5 Alameda in 2015.  Specifically, 82% of white students were kindergarten-ready compared to 36% of African American students and 29% of Latinx students. Furthermore, according to a recent Parent Voices study, over 2,200 Oakland families with preschool-aged children are on a waiting list for financial assistance. Most of those families are in underserved areas in East and West Oakland. 

The Children’s Initiative is a key strategy in our movement for educational equity across the Oakland. It is an unprecedented collaboration of city, district, county, philanthropy, non-profits, elected officials, faith leaders, colleges and community members that aims to:

  • Eliminate the kinder-readiness gap so all children enter kindergarten academically and socially ready to succeed by increasing access to high quality preschool for all.

  • Transform Oakland so that all students have an equitable opportunity to succeed by providing comprehensive support from cradle-to-career for children furthest from opportunity so they can pursue the college and career of their dreams, and by ensuring we can keep the “Oakland Promise” for the next generation of students.