Helping Each Child Get An Equal Start At School

The Problem

49% Unprepared for School

Nationwide, 49% of under-served communities children enter school unprepared. They start school behind and many times never catch up.  The Ravenswood School district is no different. 84% of their enrollment is under-served.

73% Read Below Grade Level in 3rd Grade

At the state’s first assessment in 3rd grade, 73% of the students in the Ravenswood School District are reading below grade level. After 3rd grade, learning is all book based, so reading below grade-level puts the student at risk for falling behind what the curriculum requires.

How does our program work?

Our program offers tutoring in the home for children ages three to five. Our volunteers go into the house once a week and together with the parent, play and learn with the child.
Dollar sign with diagonal slash going through it

Our services are free. To enroll in the program, the family must qualify as low-income and live in San Mateo County. For more information on how to apply for our program, please click here.

Group of raised hands

We use community-based volunteers to work with the parent and the child.  Volunteers must provide LiveScan documentation and pass our vetting process. Once vetted, they are matched with a participating family. Our volunteers come from all walks of life, but value children’s education and want to ensure that each child is ready for kindergarten.

Group of people receiving instruction

Both the parent and the volunteer will act as teachers during the sessions with the child. During training, each “parent teacher” and “volunteer teacher” will learn about child developmental milestones, child-directed play methodology, and incorporating learning into play. Having two invested adults engaging with the child in play is an empowering experience for any young person.

Child playing with ball

Studies show, engaged children learn more. For this reason, the child controls what is done in the lesson. The two caring adults add details to enrich their learning experience during play. These details could be attributes or knowledge or vocabulary or exploring emotions or asking questions.

Collection of building blocks

We have a lending library of learning activities. Volunteer Teachers check out learning activities the child likes. Activities in the learning library include games, blocks, Duplos, puzzles, art/crafts, pretend play, and fine motor games.  

Books on a shelf

We initially provide the family with a free, core set of children’s literature.  Each month the teachers choose two additional books based on the child’s interests to add to the family’s library. The family uses these books to read to their children daily.