Oku Education

Raising $200K to help with loss of revenue due to COVID so we can keep supporting our community with quality education.

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We are a learning center teaching academic and enrichment classes for K-8 students.  We have lost 80% of our revenue due to COVID, and we want to stay an available option for the students we serve.  We have educated 100's of kiddos over the many years that we have been open, many of them homeschool, special needs, and an assortment of other students that a traditional classroom environment just doesn't work for.  We pride ourselves on hiring credentialed teachers for Academic classes and professionals in their field for our enrichment classes.  

We have been hard hit and just want to keep our door open, normally we are a healthy and thriving community, and last year had grown to almost 100 students and 80 families being served on our campus.  We have been unable to return to in-person classes due to all the COVID restrictions that are happening in CA, and we have spent literally everything we had on the technology to get our program to running virtually.  

But we are excited that we now have a viable model for virtual learning, we have figured out how to create this environment and do it well, our students are happy and thriving!  We are encouraged that we will be able to maintain not only a virtual environment but also a hybrid environment as we move forward into these new challenging times.  

We also want to keep cultivating relationships with our fantastic enrichment teachers, so we can keep offering, drama, dance, cooking, painting, clay, music appreciation, singing, skateboarding, and many more!  We take a lot of direction from our community so as new interests arise we try to make those accessible, we have tried new classes in anime drawing, watercolor painting, and crochet.

We started in 2015 due to the public charter that my daughter attended closing, and leaving many families with no place to turn.  I found that there was a huge need for what we do as families joined along for the school year, we built up our community quickly, our first year we outgrew our space we had so many people join us.  We had students that we were supporting with reading disorders that were able to learn skills to overcome some of those hurdles to pursue dreams of attending a performing arts school or students that struggled with behaviors, or other special needs that just didn't work in a classroom environment but worked well in our small class settings.  My own daughter is one of those kiddos that a traditional school classroom just didn't fit well.  In the classes that we designed, she was able to flourish and learn at her speed.  As we moved into our next year we found a larger campus and grew to add another classroom of children and another teacher.  We added in a social-emotional aspect to all our classrooms as a way to help support social skill learning in every part of our environment.

Our next year we grew almost two-fold from where we were, and branched out creating new relationships with home school charters so we could better support our growing community, during this time we had a snafu with one of the schools that we were a vendor for, in that they didn't pay us for six months, this hurt, but this definitely prepared us for what was to come.  We worked with that charter and got them all caught up but the next year we had a true disaster.  In the 2018-2019 academic year, we had a charter school that we were a vendor for, that had a corrupt person working at the top, that person created such financial turmoil that they got shut down, which created a huge six-figure hole in our budget.  We had to learn on the fly, and we scraped money together every way we could, and while it helped us survive the year it sadly set us up for fees, and interest, and payments that created havoc for us.  Just as we were beginning to turn a corner in our 2019-2020 academic year we had grown to almost 100 students, we were getting things paid down, paid off, and then all of a sudden COVID hit.  In March we shut our whole program down for in-person classes, and our amazing staff flipped to virtual in one week!  We had our kiddos back in classes and learning virtually after a short week break, we had our teachers all up and running virtually, and we were filming all our enrichment classes so our kiddos could still enjoy taking them from home.  This sadly crippled us though as most of our students really wanted an in-person learning environment we saw our enrollment decline as parents decided to do other things.  Much of our community wants to come back, but we are still not doing in-person classes as we are now under a stay at home order.  We got a tiny PPP amount but exhausted that quickly as we watched our student count plummet, this year we started the year with only about 25% of our normal students, we gained a few and we lost a few, but we were optimistic that things would hopefully change for the better.  We are supporting a staff still capable of teaching 100 students, but everyone has cut hours, cut in pay, and we are all just trying to make ends meet.

Our teachers, aides, and students would love to keep our community growing and going, we thank everyone that would like to help us make this possible.

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