Celebrating on Camera

By Faith Network of the East Bay | June 23rd,2016

by Carolyn Piraino, Excel Reading Clinic coordinator

Excitement was already in the air when local news reporter Allen Martin and his cameraman arrived at Laurel Elementary to film our Excel Reading Clinic closing ceremony on Wednesday, May 25. The reason? To get footage of our Succeeding by Reading program in action for their late June TV spot on Faith Network president Randy Roth!

Randy Roth

Randy is the recipient of the Jefferson Award for his distinguished service to the Bay Area community. The San Francisco Bay Area CBS television station KPIX-TV recognizes a “quiet hero” in the community every week with this award. (Read KPIX’s article about Randy at kpix.com/hero.)

“We’re going to be on TV!” cried one of the second-graders who was at the clinic that morning. The camera rolled as, one by one, students read aloud stories they had written themselves and received achievement certificates from their tutors, along with words of congratulations and hugs. On this day of celebration, we played Word Bingo and let each student select two to three books to take home and add to their own personal library.

Carolyn Piraino and her student Jonathan

The Excel Reading Clinic has been operating at Laurel Elementary for more than 10 years. It is one of 20 clinics in the Succeeding by Reading program, which seeks to raise each participating student’s reading skills by at least two grade levels by the end of the school year. Volunteers from the Oakland community and as far away as Danville are trained in remedial reading techniques by Faith Network staff, and are later paired with a child (first through third grades) that they will be working with for the entire school year.

Randy’s vision of one-on-one help for Oakland’s students — not only for reading, but math and science, too — has been realized through a variety of programs offered by Faith Network for the last 15 years. We who work with Faith Network are grateful to KPIX for recognizing Randy’s contribution to the children of Oakland and other parts of the Bay Area as well. Congratulations, Randy!

The excited students of Laurel Elementary Excel Reading Clinic

This is the second time someone associated with Faith Network has been honored with the Jefferson Award. Last year, volunteers Mark and Joanne Perra, received the Jefferson Award for their advisory role with the newly-launched robotics class at Roosevelt Middle School. Their story is in our November 2015 newsletter.