OAKLAND -- On Monday, weeks after losing a close parcel tax election, the Oakland school district got a major boost: a $7.5 million donation from Kaiser Permanente.
Kaiser donated $10.5 million in all, including $1 million to support the Oakland Police Department's mentoring and violence prevention programs and $2 million for an educational monument and park in Fox Square, a new downtown development. The East Bay Community Foundation will manage the fund.
The largest portion of the grant -- about $6 million -- will support the school district's school-based health centers, which provide health and counseling services to children and their families, and other wellness initiatives. By the end of the school year, there will be 14 such clinics, said Mara Larsen-Fleming, a program manager for the district.
Another $1.5 million of the grant funding will support the implementation of Superintendent Tony Smith's plan for "full-service community schools" and to an initiative to improve the achievement of African-American males.
"This is the first really major investment in the community schools idea from a corporate partner," said district spokesman Troy Flint. "This, hopefully, can be a model for contributions in the future."
In a news release about the announcement, Smith explained the community schools model as having "an emphasis on educating and caring for the whole child."
"Social and human services are not seen as extra or add-ons in these schools," he said. "Instead, collaboration in service of children and families is how these schools consistently behave."
A health center opened this month at United for Success, a middle school on East Oakland's Calvin Simmons campus, as part of a multimillion-dollar initiative funded by Atlantic Philanthropies. Roosevelt Middle School's clinic opens in early December, and Madison Middle School's will open in January.