STORIES Seeing Opportunities Emerge Across the Valley

Thanks for diving deeper into our work to create opportunities for everyone in the Valley. Read more about our work to support organizations that promote access to excellent schools, essential safety-net services and careers that can sustain individuals and families.

SEAL students become more motivated, confident learners by the end of third grade.

SEAL PROMOTES LIVELY, LANGUAGE-FILLED CLASSROOMS

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Our research-based Sobrato Early Academic Language model, or SEAL, helps English Learners by stressing academic language, talking and role-playing among students and providing extensive professional development and coaching for teachers – all while encouraging parents to get involved. SEAL provides much-needed alignment across the early grades and builds in shared professional development for pre-K and kindergarten teachers, and cross-grade discussions to share on curriculum and instruction.

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    SEAL STUDENTS LEARN ACADEMIC LANGUAGE THROUGH TALKING, SINGING AND PLAYING

    SEAL classrooms are lively, language-filled places. Students are introduced to higher academic vocabulary that is reinforced through students talking with each other, singing songs and role-playing, which is how young children learn.

  • TEACHERS ENGAGE PARENTS IN THEIR CHILDREN’S LEARNING

    SEAL teachers encourage parents to get involved by providing students with homework in both languages, sending home vocabulary with every unit so parents can have conversations with their children about the topics, offering parents workshops about supporting their children’s development at home and inviting parents to volunteer in the classroom.

PACT parent leaders ask participants to fill out diplomas with the name of a student who has dreams of going to college.

PARENT LEADERS FIGHT FOR MORE EQUITABLE, QUALITY EDUCATION

Jacqueline Orrell for PACT: People Acting in Community Together.

California’s Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) changed the way schools are funded – directing more resources to schools with large percentages of low-income and English Learner students – and introduced new systems for parents to shape local decisions. We are proud to support an alliance of community organizing groups in East San Jose fostering parent leaders fighting for more equitable, quality education through LCFF funds. Through their organizing work, Californians for Justice, Somos Mayfair and PACT are developing local parent advocates who are exercising accountability over their districts’ processes and outcomes of LCFF planning.

  • PARENTS SECURE COMMUNITY Liaisons

    Supported by Somos Mayfair, a group of parent leaders in the Alum Rock Union School District secured $1.2 million for community liaisons to help interpret, educate parents and direct them to resources.

  • PARENTS WIN A SEAT AT THE TABLE

    Through the support of Californians for Justice, a group of parent leaders in the East Side Union High School District secured district-wide adoption of an inclusive, participatory budgeting process at each high school, two seats for community members on the District Budget Committee and the adoption of community-identified priorities in the District’s formal LCFF plan.

  • PARENTS WORK TO ENSURE THE PROCESS IS ACCESSIBLE

    Parent leaders in the Franklin-McKinley School District, supported by PACT, secured $2.5 million in discretionary funds distributed among all Franklin-McKinley schools. They also won a county commitment to ensure school site plans are available to parents and to support a pilot project to develop templates for an executive summary of Local Control Accountability Plans that are accessible to parents.

Ms. Isla’s class using their EcoSTEM kit for water. “They made me open up the kits the day they came, and we jumped right in. We were able to use the aquifer and land forms portions right away.”

#BESTSCHOOLDAY CALLS ATTENTION TO CLASSROOM NEEDS

Jessica Isla

We were thrilled to give more than 200 Bay Area schools a reason to celebrate by supporting their classroom projects posted on DonorsChoose.org  as part of the #BestSchoolDay national flash-funding effort. Through gifts focused on early literacy totaling $258,000, we fulfilled teacher requests for books, art supplies, science equipment, field trips and more. Sobrato was honored to be part of this effort to call attention to classroom needs across the country and thanks national news outlets and personalities including Steven Colbert for calling attention to #BestSchoolDay.

SOBRATO’s #BESTSCHOOLDAY PROJECTS PROMOTE EARLY LITERACY SKILLS

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With the funding support, Mrs. Forbes in Fremont used tactile play to teach five- and six-year-olds letter awareness and comprehension. Ms. Isla in San Jose built hands-on, EcoSTEM learning kits for her students — most of whom are English Learners. And Mrs. Oliveras in Hayward focused on active learning and word building to help students achieve success and enjoy their time at school.

By supporting students and the teachers who guide them, we can extend the promise of opportunity in the Bay Area to everyone who lives and learns here.

Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center clients Maria Rosario and Jose Almendarez celebrate the launch of Estilo Beauty Salon in South San Francisco with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

We Build Connections Between Employers and Workforce

Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center

We’re supporting pathways to sustainable jobs by building connections between employers and the workforce to train people for higher-paying jobs. Through our investment in Jewish Vocational and Career Counseling Services, Sobrato is supporting the expansion of BankWork$ in Silicon Valley — a program that trains young adults from low-income and minority communities for lasting careers in the financial services industry. And we’re promoting women-focused entrepreneurship through our support of Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center, which trains low-income women to develop and run successful small businesses.

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