OAKLAND, CA (June 7, 2016)—Lincoln, a nonprofit based in West Oakland that works to empower children and families in low-income communities, announced today that the organization has secured four grants worth $1.4 million in total from the City of Oakland’s Oakland Fund for Children and Youth (OFCY). This three-year grant will support Lincoln’s West Oakland Initiative ($100,000/year), Oakland Freedom Schools ($150,000/year), Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation Program ($150,000/year), and New Highland-RISE Family Resource Center ($80,000/year).
OFCY was established in 1996, when Oakland voters passed an amendment to the City Charter to support direct services to youth under 21 years. This year, the Fund approved a budget of over $14.8 million to support 150 programs in Oakland.
It is the first time in its history that Lincoln has had four different programs funded through OFCY; in the previous year (2015-16), the Oakland Freedom Schools and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation Program (ECMHC) were generously supported through OFCY funding. As a chapter of the CDF Freedom Schools® Program, Lincoln’s Oakland Freedom Schools (OFS)—a reading-intensive, cultural enrichment summer program—impacts more than 150 students each summer. OFS’ young scholars, on average, gain a full year increase in instructional reading levels in only six weeks. Lincoln’s ECMHC Program is contracted by the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) to provide consultation services to over 60 early childhood educators serving 10 OUSD Child Development Centers.
The new programs funded this year through OFCY are the West Oakland Initiative (WOI) and the New Highland-RISE Family Resource Center (NH/R FRC). WOI is an innovative, neighborhood-focused program that provides in-class tutoring and intensive case management at all four OUSD elementary schools in West Oakland. NH/R FRC is located at the joint campus of New Highland Academy and RISE Community School, and provides an array of family-based programs on-site, including nutrition classes, the Urban Gardens Club, literacy classes for both parents/caregivers and students, and a restorative justice-based discussion group led by a Lincoln clinician. The FRC impacts more than 200 families each year, many who have been impacted by community-based violence and other traumatic experiences.
“Support for these critical programs at Lincoln that are focused on improving educational outcomes, strengthening families, and keeping kids in school, means even more Oakland youth will have opportunities to thrive,” said Christine Stoner-Mertz, President and CEO of Lincoln. “Lincoln is committed to starting as early as possible through our Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation services, and supporting children and families throughout their school careers in our Family Resource Center, Oakland Freedom Schools, and our West Oakland Initiative.“Our approach is simple: provide children with support and services as young as possible and make a continuum of programs available to them from their school years to graduation from high school,” said Christine Stoner-Mertz, President and CEO of Lincoln. “With this funding, we are able to continue making transformational advances in our programs. We must constantly find new and innovative ways to provide real solutions to the unique issues faced by kids and families.”
If you'd like to learn more about Lincoln, please visit LincolnFamilies.org.
Since 1883, Lincoln has impacted the lives of children and families through evolving programs across Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. Lincoln’s mission is to disrupt the cycle of poverty and trauma, empowering children and families to build strong futures. While programs and services have grown and changed, Lincoln’s mission and values remain rooted in the belief that ending cycles of poverty and trauma depends upon addressing the unique needs of children and families to build on their strengths and propel them to success. Today, Lincoln impacts over 4,000 families in the most underserved communities through a continuum of academic achievement, family strengthening, and well-being programs. Over the past year, Lincoln has achieved great successes addressing the root causes of poverty and mental health issues.
About Oakland Fund for Children and Youth
Oakland Fund for Children and Youth (OFCY) provides strategic funding to support Oakland's children and youth from birth to 20 years of age to become healthy, happy, educated, engaged, powerful, and loved community members. Leveraging their efforts with partners for greater collective impact towards social and economic equity, OFCY builds the capacity of community agencies to work together to fully develop each child's potential, achieve positive outcomes, and promote the positive contributions of children and youth to Oakland's greatness.