Above and Beyond: Schools Step Up to Support Families

Rocketship Public Schools, a Tipping Point grantee since 2011, serves 6,640 low-income students in grades TK-5 across the Bay Area. Soraya Vasquez Lopez’s oldest son Julio is a second grader at Rocketship Si Se Puede Academy in East San Jose. The past month has been beyond challenging for the Lopez family but, thanks to Rocketship, they have been given some relief.

“In the wake of COVID-19, I lost my housekeeping job, which was our main source of income. Most days we struggle for food and basic supplies,” Soraya said.

“We are renting a room in a house and have no lease. We have not been able to pay our rent for the last month and we worry our landlord could kick us out at any time. When I got a call from Rocketship saying we would be receiving help, I cried with joy.”
Lopez Family of Rocketship Schools
Liam, Soraya, Julio and Gregorio have been supported by the Rocketship Schools Family Emergency Fund.

After the closure of Si Se Puede and the 12 other schools in Rocketship’s Bay Area network, the team implemented a support system for students and their families that went far beyond distance learning alone. Every morning, a designated CareCorps of at least four educators send every Rocketship family a brief wellness survey to identify any needs in the home environment. The CareCorps reviews all responses before noon every day and follows up with families who indicate they need support to connect them to services and resources. Rocketship has also created a guide for other schools looking to launch a CareCorps response, full of tips for building out effective teams, system protocols and sample outreach messaging, available on its website.

During this crisis, Rocketship is supporting the schools’ most economically vulnerable families, most of whom are hourly workers in the service industry. The school has received $150,000 in emergency relief from Tipping Point to support families like the Lopez’s with food, household supplies, and rental assistance.                                                    

THE NUMBERS

Our fourth round of emergency relief funding was distributed across 17 organizations, including new grants to groups focused on food security. Read more here.

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