OAKLAND KIDS FIRST CULTURE CHANGE STRATEGIES
How does Oakland Kids First create school-based culture change? Our strategies involve fostering mutual accountability in learning spaces; providing a new set of shared experiences, language and principles in both the classroom and on campus, that can become the basis for improved relationships between students; and building the leadership skills of students to work more effectively with their peers and adult allies in efforts to transform their school.
Strategy #1: Partner with school and district leaders to increase the number of youth leadership opportunities to more deeply engage the majority of students in efforts to improve their schools.
- Expand and strengthen student leadership in OUSD – We are working with OUSD to ensure the successful implementation of a Meaningful Student Engagement policy we helped create and pass in 2005 to increase student engagement and strengthen student leadership throughout the district.
- Advocate for the districtwide adoption of an academic peer support system in OUSD – To increase graduation and college rates by implementing the pilot PASS (Peers Advising Students to Succeed) program at Oakland Technical high school and by documenting its success as we build support for the expansion of the program districtwide.
- Create a culture of collaboration in the classroom – We offer a series of trainings and workshops where teachers and students become partners and are given leadership roles in building supportive, engaging, and respectful classroom settings, directing their energies towards shared goals and accomplishments.
Strategy #2: Through REAL HARD leadership training, outreach, and membership activities, increase the number of youth, particularly ‘unaffiliated’ youth, participating in these newly created student leadership roles
- Create a culture of full participation on campus – The REAL HARD youth leadership program employs a rotating leadership training structure, offers youth membership activities relevant to youth culture and interests, and runs student clubs on campus that engage members in experiential learning-based Culture Challenge activities. This multi-faceted approach allows us to maximize the number of youth we are able to reach, retain, and engage in leadership opportunities every year.