Wednesday, October 5, 2016

We're Off to See The WIZdom of God!

On Saturday, October 15, 2016, Faith Network of the East Bay is proud to present a one-time only production of The WIZdom of God. Inspired by both The Wizard of Oz and The Wiz, The WIZdom of God follows Dorothy and her little dog Total Mess on their adventure to the Crystal City to meet the Voice of God. This Christian-themed musical is the centerpiece of our Fall Fundraiser to raise money for our CareerBridge mentorship program.

The WIZdom of God is the creative brainchild of Daughters of Grace, a group of
sister singers that include our very own staff members, CareerBridge and Science Horizons director Margena Wade-Green and Succeeding by Reading clinic coordinator Gwen Stephens. The talented cast is supported by a local band, Ms. Nzuri and the Nzuri Soul Band. You will hear variations on familiar tunes from the original musicals and classic songs off the radio. Dinner will be available for purchase. There will be a raffle, bake sale, and more!

The WIZdom of God promises to be a fun-filled affair with lots of audience
participation, especially for children. Please join us for this family-friendly
fundraiser! Spend some time somewhere over the rainbow, while supporting
CareerBridge at the same time.

Are you wistfully thinking, “if I only had a ticket”, my pretty? No need for ruby red or silver slippers. Just follow the yellow brick road...

The WIZdom of God

Meet the Scarecrow, Tin Foil, Dorothy, the Lioness, and Total Mess

Saturday, October 15, 2016

First Covenant Church

4000 Redwood Rd, Oakland

Doors open at 3:15 pm. Show starts at 4:00 pm.

 Tickets on sale now!
$25 at the door
$20 General Admission pre-sale
$15 pre-sale for Seniors, $20 at the door
$10 Children 3-10 years old
Children 2 years and under, free admission

Other activities:
• raffle prizes
• Auntie Em’s Supper
• Dorothy’s Bake Sale
• Uncle Henry’s Barnyard Sale
• Dorothy & Friends selfies
• silent auction

"If I only had a ticket...!"

To purchase tickets
phone our office at (510) 836-5100.

President's Corner: Point of Viewing

Randy Roth
Stand three people side by side to watch an event, get them alone afterward and ask what they saw and it’s likely you will hear three different accounts. Why? Because one’s point of view depends on one’s point of viewing.

Not long after Faith Network launched in 2001, I was introduced to a book that altered my point of viewing. Educator Timothy Stuart, over the course of 12 months, interviewed people from a wide range of backgrounds to identify key factors that contributed to their success. The results of the interviews yielded two recurring themes:

  1. Adversity provides a catalyst for a child’s character growth and is essential to success, and
  2. A trusting relationship with a caring adult helps a child interpret adversity and develop perseverance.

Stuart’s findings led him to write Children At Promise, a book that not only changed my point of viewing but also challenged my stereotyping. No longer do I label an Oakland child, rich or poor, as “at risk”. Stewart helped me recognize that 100% of our children are at risk, including those who grow up in affluent communities, but that 100% are also “at promise”. No child is exempt from adversity. No adult is a self-made success. Cesar Chavez aptly put it this way: “You are never strong enough that you don’t need help.”

Stuart observed: “These two elements – adversity and a trusting relationship – interact with each other to create a fertile environment critical for a child’s positive growth and development. Children are better equipped for successful, life-enhancing growth when they experience difficult trials in the context of a meaningful relationship with a caring adult.”

Faith Network has come to the poignant realization that a trusted relationship can help kids rise above adversity – and succeed not only in spite of it, but because of it.

For the children,
Randy Roth
President of Faith Network

Volunteer Voices: Walt Crockett

Walt Crockett
CareerBridge mentor
Why do I volunteer? The youth. Oakland has a lot of needy youth. It’s paramount to help them out. The kids that I’ve seen come through [CareerBridge], in the short amount of time that I’ve known, have really grown. And I’d like to see more kids with that opportunity to come close to their potential-- their total potential-- rather than be swallowed up by the wrong element that’s here in Oakland. Without the help to close the gap, they’re not close enough. So having a group like Faith Network of the East Bay out there, give the kids hope that they can do better than where they’re at. Hanging out on the corner late at night is not a good thing. We have kids walking the streets late at night here where they should be at home studying or sleeping. There’s quite a bit of violence. Hanging out on the streets, even if you’re a good kid, could be the death of you. And it’s happening all over really, not just Oakland. I would think that having some sort of a direction, better than where they’re at, would give them more encouragement to stay in school, and to hang out with the right people, people who will steer them in the right direction.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Literacy Tutors Cultivate Learning

You can grow ideas in the garden of your mind. -- from Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood

What a joy to sow seeds of learning, and to see students blossom into new readers! Thanks to the dedicated service of 130 literacy tutors in the 2015-2016 school year, we provided individual reading instruction for 295 students. Of those we saw over the whole school year, 65% improved by two grade levels or more in their reading skills. These students have learned to read, and now they can read to learn, growing their own garden of ideas, exploration and discovery.

New Tutor Trainings
Do you know someone who might enjoy helping a second-grader discover the
excitement of reading? Maybe that someone is you! We invite you to find out more at one of these New Tutor Trainings:

Monday, September 19
3:00 - 5:30 pm

Saturday, September 24
9:00 - 11:30 am

Saturday, October 8
9:00 - 11:30 am

Monday, October 17
3:00 - 5:30 pm

Returning Tutor
Refresher Training

Join us on
Wednesday, September 14
9:00 - 11:30 am
to refresh your skills and expand your tutor toolkit!

Training materials and yummy snacks will be provided.
Please register with Rebecca:

All trainings will be at the
Faith Network office
2633 Telegraph Avenue #412
Oakland, CA 94612

All photo credit goes to Kathy Dwyer.

Unsung Heroes

Our apologies to those Faith Network volunteers accidentally left out of last month’s Volunteer Appreciation insert!

Stephanie Allen
classroom assistant

Monica Butler
classroom assistant

Lorna Heikkinen
ESL for Adult Learners

Dale Koistinen
classroom assistant

Linda Koistinen
classroom assistant

Sue Lee Young
classroom assistant

Tom Rudderow
classroom assistant

Cameron Wardle
summer school assistant

If you’re a volunteer who
was not recognized,
please let us know at

President's Corner: A Little Goes A Long Way

The title of Max Lucado’s book Outlive Your Life: You Were Made to Make a Difference could be Faith Network’s theme song as we launch into our sixteenth school year. We are in search of farsighted people committed to invest in the next generation. YOU can make a difference by…
  • Helping a child become a successful reader and lifelong lover of learning
  • Opening up the world of science and the great outdoors to urban kids
  • Sharpening students’ math and critical thinking skills
  • Bagging food for low-income children and their families
  • Mentoring a high school student in preparation for a workplace internship
  • Following students forward to higher education and gainful employment
  • Assisting students during teacher-guided STEAM and Robotics Labs
  • Reaching out to friends, congregations and businesses to advance the goal of obtaining Hope for Children Now!
My last Sunday as a full-time pastor of First Covenant Church, before I left to
focus on Faith Network, was June 24, 2001. My wife Diane and I were greeting
people at the conclusion of the service. A boy approached Diane and presented
her with two quarters, saying, “If Jesus could feed a multitude with a few loaves
and fishes, maybe he could use these two quarters to help with your new
ministry.” Those two quarters are taped on my office file cabinet as a continual
reminder that a little can go a long way when placed in the hands of our Provider.
So the adventure of faith continues as the new school year unfolds and more
opportunities come our way to seek the shalom of the city. Thank you to so
many of you who are upholding Faith Network through your prayer support,
volunteer service and financial gifts.

For the children,

P.S. To learn more, click here, email, or call our office at 510-836-5100.

Burckhalter kids hanging out on the bench purchased by Faith Network and dedicated to Randy Roth.
Photo credit goes to Lisa Oler.