FULCRUM: a vehicle to support Oakland literacy initiatives and improve student reading outcomes

Our Purpose

To ensure that every Oakland child is an 'on-time' reader armed with protection from the school to prison pipeline and a clear path to college and career readiness. We will achieve this by relentlessly fighting for a direct, systematic structured approach to literacy in the k-12 and supporting teachers in understanding and leveraging the underlying science.

Our Approach

Keeping ONLY the most essential objective - leading ALL students to become proficient readers - at the forefront of every action.

Boy reading a book


  • Providing administrators, teachers, and parents access to The Science of Reading so they are educated in 'The Why' and equipped to make informed decisions around all literacy instruction.

  • Identifying and sharing curricula and technology to serve as a resource for systems, teachers, administrators, and parents looking for evidence-based solutions.

  • Ensuring that dyslexia, one of the main causes of low reading achievement, is at the forefront of all considerations when key decisions are made by system leaders.

Merging train tracks


  • Pushing on K-12 school systems to learn, adopt, support and implement, with confidence and fidelity, core methodologies that work for ALL children.

  • Challenging assumptions and providing an asset-based lens to have difficult conversations.

  • Encouraging "Teacher Ed" programs to examine the impact of the content of their early literacy instruction on student achievement and align with research-based methodology and hiring needs of K-12 systems.

Smiling woman in a meeting


  • Giving policymakers access to data, research, and the impact of decisions on the lived experiences of students and their families.

  • Bridging diverse stakeholders in Oakland's education ecosystem to align historically separated factions to collaborate in catalytic change for children.

  • Building aligned coalitions with community, parent, and professional groups that support the change management process.

  • Providing resources and training to parents that allow them to productively connect with schools about their child's progress.

Data - The Why

Research - The What

COVID 19 Relief Funding - lifting our Oakland children NOW

We are actively looking for funding for emergency literacy relief for the 1000s of K-2 students in Oakland who are in rapid and dire need of timely “substitute" literacy instruction while systems are slowly pivoting to research-based "structured literacy" methods.

These funds will IMMEDIATELY be put to work to LIFT:

The over 16,000 Oakland K-2 students whose literacy instruction, already under-effective before Covid, has been even more critically disrupted by Covid. This includes students whose families are referred by the NAACP to help address civil rights' complaints related to a lack of legally mandated services related to literacy.

Girl with tablet

1,100 MORE onetab Devices:

  • Gifting approximately 1100 additional** emergency onetab devices (Xprize winner, onebillion) to our most vulnerable emergent readers from key schools. ** We already have 954 devices heading to Oakland children now!

  • These devices are completely self-contained (no wifi required), intuitive, adaptive and research-based, allowing students to be autonomous in effective foundational literacy instruction. While onetabs are beneficial all the time, they are essential for closing the reading gap during Covid.

Woman learning online

Structured Literacy PD for Teachers: ($45,000)

  • Sending 100 teachers to CORE’s exceptional Online Elementary Reading Academy ($400/teacher), a class that delves into: the Science of Reading, the 5 pillars of structured literacy, and provides deep practice with assessment and diagnostic tools.

  • Training of literacy teachers will serve both as proof-points and stop-gaps for the literacy bleeding occurring during distance learning.

Father teaching son on table

Online Parent Reading Academy: (Movement Building Seed Money)

  • Sponsoring up to 100 Oakland parents to attend a custom online class designed by FULCRUM/Pivot Learning to providing parents with access to key insights and opportunities to engage other parents around The Science of Reading and research-based Structured Literacy.

  • This will drive demand at the classroom/system level through engagement of informed parents.

Our Newsletter

Education, Resources, and Initiatives

Table with FULCRUM newsletter


  1. Reading Advocates: Ohio Parents Fight and Win for All Children
  2. Why focus on dyslexia?
  3. The movie we all have to see
  4. Mandatory dyslexia screening in CA
  5. In Oakland, who's teaching what?
  6. Curriculum & academic freedom
  7. Education for change takes the plunge
  8. Key learning videos for educators
  9. What do students need?
  10. Scripted Curriculum & Academic freedom
  11. Academic freedom and testing
  12. Literacy lawsuits: Courts weigh in
  13. Oakland's Reading Clinic
  14. Early Reading & School Closures
  15. Covid 19 & Special Ed
  16. Curriculum Selection
  17. Teacher & Parent bashing
  18. What is SIPPS?
  19. Who are the Libens?
  20. Bridging the Covid Gap
  21. NAACP on State Literacy Team


  1. How can I help my child read?
  2. NAACP resolution for dyslexia
  3. Learning disabilities and reading
  4. Phonemic awareness is not phonics
  5. How did Mississippi do it?
  6. Structured Literacy for ELLs (Webinar RSVP)
  7. Chaos or Community
  8. The Literacy for All Campaign
  9. University preparation
  10. The politics of fear
  11. Upcoming dates ad events
  12. What do I do? Safe Space
  13. School Closures

Support & Subscribe

Support our organization!

To donate to FULCRUM:

contact liza@fulcrum-oakland.org

Diverse kids reading books

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