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A KinderPrep classroom volunteer's experience

  • All the scholars

  • Bill reading to class

  • Fun on a KinderPrep field trip

Volunteering in an Oakland Rotary  KinderPrep classroom is a life changing experience.  One walks in the door of the classroom and instantly falls in love with the wonderful little scholars.  Assisting the teacher and working with the young stars becomes not a task, but a labor of love. One also develops a close relationship with the teacher, and it’s difficult to think of anything better to do with one’s time.

When students who say they can’t write their name because “I’m scared” or “I can’t”,  and then do it for the first time, it’s priceless.  When a frightened girl from war-torn Yemen is crying in class, but soon is drawing happy faces; when a boy from Vietnam who’s house had burned down arrives speaking no English then writes the numbers 1 to 10 on his own; when scholars first learn words and numbers, there is nothing like it in the world. 

You also develop friendships outside of class with caring people from school administration and staff, Oakland Public Education Fund, SEEDS,  Community Service Officers and others.  Your life, as you knew it, is truly changed forever.

Bill Hogan, KinderPrep classroom vounteer at Garfield Elementary.



On a cloudy and , thankfully, dry Tuesday  693 transitional kindergarten and kindergarten students were bussed to the Oakland Zoo.  Thirty five Oakland Rotary volunteers guided the students into the zoo, some accompanied the classes to the various Zoo venues and the rest helped set up and distribute lunch.

KinderPrep’s goal is to make our TK field trips the easiest ones the teachers will ever do.  We organized and pay for everything including zoo entrance, transportation and student lunches.  Oakland Zoo staff are incredibly helpful and accommodating.  As the pictures attest, a great time was had by all.


Oakland Rotary KinderPrep has collaborated with the Rainin Foundation for 3 years to scale up evidence based learning programs.  Last year Rainin funded the majority of our summer book give-away.

Rainin just released a report (available by clicking the link below) showing huge gains in school readiness for students in their SEEDS of Learning program.  Five key skills needed to be ready for Kindergarten were mastered by 91% to 99% of children.  KinderPrep is proud to be a small part of this success.

Read the report


Oakland Rotary Volunteers Make KinderPrep Zoo Field Trip a Success

On April 26, 2016 eleven buses each holding 70 students and chaperones descended on the Oakland Zoo.  Twenty three Oakland Rotary volunteers escorted them to and around the grounds and served lunch.  The weather was gorgeous and a great time was had by all.  The hardest working folks were the goats in the contact area who had their busiest day ever.  

Thanks to Oakland Rotarian and Zoo docent Michael Bruck for helping keep them on their feet.