OAKLAND, CA (September 19, 2005) – According to recent California Standards test scores, 73 percent of second graders in the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) are at risk because their reading and literacy skills are not up to grade level.
In order to ameliorate the problem and strengthen the Oakland community, The Comcast Foundation has awarded a $50,000 grant to the Oakland Parents Literacy Project (OPLP), the largest non-profit, community-based organization that promotes child and family literacy within the district. The funds will be used to buy books for 7,000 elementary students, and conduct more than 60 Family Reading Night events in the 2005-2006 school year.
“Thanks to Comcast’s continued generosity, OPLP has been able to grow its program to 30,000 students and families united around increasing literacy among students in the Oakland Unified School District,��? said Denise Geer, Executive Director of Oakland Parents Literacy Project. “As a non-profit organization, we are grateful to have Comcast as a partner to bring reading nights and other literacy programs to our children.��?
“As part of our commitment to giving back to the local community, Comcast remains dedicated to ensuring that parents and children together master the basic literacy skills essential for success in school and beyond,��? said Hank Fore, Area Vice President for Comcast. “Comcast applauds the Oakland Parents Literacy Project for its work in successfully increasing student reading and library usage, and expanding parent participation in their children’s education.��?
About OPLP Family Reading Nights
A typical Family Reading Night begins with presentations by school administrators about the importance of reading outside the classroom. Families learn about techniques for improving literacy skills by introducing reading activities at home including reading recipes, labels and newspapers, and starting a home library. Presentations are followed by a special storytelling time with professional storytellers or high profile community members who engage and entertain families and bring books to life. Past readers have included Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown, Adonal Foyle of the Golden State Warriors, and Terrence Long of the Oakland A’s.
Following the storytelling, a free dinner is served to all attendees and each child receives a free book to add to, or begin, their own home library.
The Oakland Parents Literacy Project (OPLP) was established in 1999 by Senator Don Perata and Oakland school and community who were deeply concerned with the crisis in Oakland’s literacy rates and wished to move literacy to the forefront of the city’s agenda. At the request of the Oakland Unified School District in 2003, OPLP targeted its efforts on the 37 lowest performing schools in the district. Due to budget cuts in the district, some of those schools have been closed. However, due to the measurable, positive impact that OPLP programs have had on the remaining schools, the district has asked the we continue our collaborative effort. OPLP will now refocus its efforts on the 32 lowest performing schools. Web site: www.oplp.org
About The Comcast Foundation
The Comcast Foundation was founded by Comcast Corporation in June 1999 and is the company’s chief source of charitable support to qualified non-profit organizations. The Foundation primarily invests in programs that work to create a positive, sustainable impact within our communities in the areas of volunteerism; literacy, reading and learning; and youth leadership development. Since its inception, The Comcast Foundation has donated more than $18 million to organizations in the communities where Comcast serves. More information about The Foundation and its programs is available at www.comcast.com under “In the Community��?.
Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) (http://www.comcast.com) is the nation's leading provider of cable, entertainment and communications products and services. With 21.5 million cable customers and 7.7 million high-speed Internet customers, and 1.2 million voice customers, Comcast is principally involved in the development, management and operation of broadband cable networks and in the delivery of programming content. Comcast serves more than 1.6 million customers and employs 4,000 people in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Oakland Parents Literacy Project