Chase Bank Gives Oakland Schools $125,000 Grant

Gary Hall

Cementing a partnership to enhance academic rigor and raise graduation rates in Oakland Public Schools, OUSD announced a grant from JP Morgan Chase in an 11:00am ceremony on Wednesday, September 28th. Hosted by Life Academy, a thriving high school in Oakland’s Fruitvale neighborhood with a biology and health sciences focus, the event heralded the $125,000 gift from Chase facilitated by the East Bay Community Foundation. The funds will support intensive academic assistance for OUSD students and strengthen District efforts to increase college enrollment levels.
Specifically, the initiative is aimed at improving classroom instruction and increasing the number and diversity of students taking classes which qualify them for college. The College Board, a non-profit organization working with the District, is providing the tutoring curriculum. The grant will allow for the training of teachers to provide extra assistance for students who, traditionally, have not enrolled in A-G, classes required for admission to UC or CSU schools, or Advanced Placement (AP) courses. It also will support students who don’t need tutoring, but can benefit from guidance on preparing for college and career.
“Partnerships to enhance education, like this one among the private sector, the public sector and the philanthropic sector, point the way toward an economic renaissance in Oakland,” said Oakland Mayor Jean Quan. “More of our students will enroll in college as a direct result of this collaboration among Chase, the school district, and the East Bay Community Foundation.”
“This grant from Chase represents an investment in Oakland’s children and our efforts to ensure they can read, write and speak proficiently, think critically, and reason mathematically,” said Oakland Unified School District Superintendent Tony Smith. “It also reinforces our goal of ensuring that we provide our students with high quality instruction in a way that is tailored to meet their specific needs. Finally, the grant is a terrific example of the type of thoughtful, public-private partnerships required to build Full-Service Community Schools that serve the whole child, eliminate health, social and educational inequity, and provide each child with a caring environment that supports student learning and success.”
 “I’m extremely proud that this grant will help more Oakland students start and finish college, building a strong foundation for their future,” said Gary Hall, a JPMorgan Chase executive who serves on the East Bay Community Foundation’s board of directors.  “It reflects our goal of working collaboratively with partners to create meaningful and sustainable change in our highest-need neighborhoods.”