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Laura.M.Kretschmar

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2 reviews

Review for Lighthouse Community Public Schools, Oakland, CA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

I have been involved with the Lighthouse Community Charter School in Oakland, California since its planning days in 2000 to its inception in 2002 as a founding teacher. Lighthouse is a K-12 public charter school serving 700 low-income students for whom 90% will be the first in their families to go to college. The mission of Lighthouse is to prepare students for college and a career of their choice by providing a community that provides them with high expectations; rigorous teaching and learning experiences; family involvement; opportunities to develop their whole selves--academic, social, emotional, and physical, and creating an environment that supports the professional growth of the teachers guiding them to a bright future.

I teach 5th/6th grade math and science at Lighthouse and have seen 4 graduating classes---70% of the graduates are still in college, while 95% of them have been accepted to 4 year colleges. This year we will have some of our first college graduates! Because the statistics of our low-income urban youth are so dire---supporting successful schools and non-profits like Lighthouse are so important. What we are doing at the school is working. We are having results and transforming students lives.

If you are discouraged about public education---visit Lighthouse, elevate and support our success which will in turn support our collective communities and futures.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Role:  Professional with expertise in this field
 

Review for Vida Verde Nature Education, San Gregorio, CA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

I first became aware and involved with Vida Verde over ten years ago. In February 2003, my school brought our 56 sixth graders on a nature adventure and overnight with Vida Verde in San Gregorio, CA. It was a most magical two days of immersing low income urban students into a nature experience that they have never forgotten. From hiking in the redwoods to exploring the coast and Pacific Ocean for the first time to planting a garden, milking goats, making cheese from the milk to cooking and cleaning together in community, this experience opened my students' eyes to the wonder and power of nature for learning, living, personal and physical growth, and for healing and hope. Every year since 2003, our school, the Lighthouse Community Charter School has been bringing our 5th or 6th graders on what has now evolved to be a 3 day, 2 night experience.

What makes Vida Verde Nature Education a great non-profit is it's mission-driven leaders, Shawn and Laura Sears, and the amazing instructors who are driven by equity and providing FREE, overnight, environmental learning experiences for students who don't otherwise get the opportunity. I emphasize FREE to underscore how much commitment and persistence it takes to raise money so that this experience can happen for students. The quality of instruction and programming is top notch. The Vida Verde Instructors understand teaching and learning at is core---the student being the center and the importance of learning being about the whole child--academic, physical, social and emotional.

Every year I continue to support Vida Verde in my charitable giving and also have joined the Board of Vida Verde because I am so committed to the mission of this organization and the results and impact the experience has on students.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Role:  Board Member