PRESS RELEASE: New Savings, Financial Literacy Initiative for Oakland Low-Income Youth

NEWS RELEASE: June 14, 2016
CONTACTS:
Kelly Carlisle, Executive Director, Acta Non Verba: Youth Urban Farm Project, (510) 277-7489, kelly@anvfarm.org
Michelle Brega, U.S. Bank, Michelle.Brega@usbank.com
Annabelle Sibthorpe, Resident Services Manager, Project Access, (510) 286-0130, asibthorpe@project-access.org

New Savings, Financial Literacy Initiative for Oakland Low-Income Youth

New partnership between Acta Non Verba: Youth Urban Farm Project, Project Access, and U.S. Bank

Oakland, CA – Acta Non Verba: Youth Urban Farm Project (ANV), working with Project Access and U.S. Bank, have launched a new initiative to provide savings accounts and financial education workshops for Oakland youth participating in ANV’s Camp ANV (seasonal camps during Oakland Unified School District breaks) and ANV After-School Program (in partnership with local partner Project Access).

Because children with savings accounts are six times more likely to go to college, according to a Washington University in St. Louis study, ANV, U.S. Bank, and Project Access are helping youth begin to save now to build assets and chart a better educational future. The initiative will focus on youth living in low-income neighborhoods in Oakland served by Acorn-Woodland and Encompass local schools, where 99 percent of students qualify for free and reduced school lunches. Only 60 percent of residents in the corresponding zip code are high school graduates or higher and only 7 percent have a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Camp ANV and ANV After-School Programs serve low-income African-American, Latino, and other children ages five to13, offering vital services in education, child care, economic empowerment, financial literacy, and access to healthy food to a community sorely lacking in these areas. Produce from ANV’s quarter-acre farm, located in the City of Oakland’s Tassafaronga Park, is planned, planted, harvested and sold by youth in grades K-8. One hundred percent of the proceeds from ANV’s farm sales will be placed into savings accounts for the benefit of youth who participate. In addition, youth in the program will be part of financial education workshops (in both English and Spanish) presented by U.S. Bank during Camp ANV. The bank will also host introductory workshops on June 10 and July 15 for parents and guardians on the benefits of saving and how to establish an account for their child who participates in the program.

For more information about Camp ANV, how to enroll or additional program details, go to www.anvfarm.org/camp.

###
Acta Non Verba: Youth Urban Farm Project (anvfarm.org) elevates life in the inner-city by challenging oppressive dynamics and environments through urban farming in Oakland, CA. Their unique approach to social, environmental, and economic justice and equity was honored by President Barack Obama in 2014.

Project Access (project-access.org) is the leading provider of vital on-site health, education and employment services to low-income families, children and seniors. Their goal is to help keep family members employed, children in school, and seniors active.

U.S. Bancorp (“USB”), with $429 billion in assets as of March 31, 2016, is the parent company of U.S. Bank National Association, the fifth largest commercial bank in the United States. The Company operates 3,129 banking offices in 25 states and 4,954 ATMs and provides a comprehensive line of banking, investment, mortgage, trust and payment services products to consumers, businesses and institutions. Visit U.S. Bancorp on the web at www.usbank.com.

anv-logo usbank pa

Tip BIG for Summer Camp ANV on June 23

Summer is here, which means its time for Camp…and also delicious summer cocktails.

fresh mojito on a rustic table

Please join Acta Non Verba: Youth Urban Farm Project for a FUN evening of drinks and food as we guest bartend to support Camp ANV on June 23 from 6-9PM at Spats at 1974 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, California 94704. Help us reach our summer fundraising goal of $15,000 to help low-income kids in Oakland access nature, learn to farm, maintain academic skills, and start saving for college.

RSVP on our Facebook event page (entry is free, all tips go to Acta Non Verba). Can’t attend? Make a donation here!

Spats/Tonic Nightlife Group will be donating ALL Bar tips on June 23 from 6-9PM to support Acta Non Verba so please TIP BIG to our guest bartenders, including Founder/Executive Kelly Carlisle!

Background on Camp ANV:
You support will ensure enriching programming for low-income youth during the crucial summer school break when many parents can’t afford camps or summer learning programs and are forced to leave children home alone. According to the New York Times, “most kids lose math skills over the summer, but low income children also lose, on average, more than two months of reading skills — and they don’t gain them back. That puts them nearly three years behind higher income peers by the end of fifth grade, and the gap just keeps getting wider. Researchers credit the summer slide for about half of the overall difference in academic achievement between lower and higher income students.”

Our Summer Camp ANV provides a safe, nurturing, and fun learning environment so kids can maintain academic skills, get experience in the outdoors, learn to farm, and start saving toward college.

No child is turned away for lack of funds. We charge a sliding scale so all can attend. Other camps in the East Bay charge more than $1,300 per youth per week. Our camp only costs $1,400 per youth for 8 full weeks, including daily, healthy meals cooked on site, and, over the past four years, we secured funding, in-kind donations, and unique volunteer opportunities to provide Summer Camp ANV at low or no cost to our working families.

We open savings accounts for the kids. Because children with savings accounts are six times more likely to go to college, according to Washington University in St. Louis, we help our participants start building assets and empower them to chart a better educational future, as all profits from camp sales are deposited into individual savings accounts that can only be used for educational purposes

Kids approach nature with new eyes at Camp ANV through activities like African drumming, photography, growing culturally-specific produce on the farm, and Talking Sticks, an African-American rhythmic art form, led by local, expert men and women of color who inspire our kids to pursue new career paths.

And there is so much more! We hope you will come out to support Camp ANV and Acta Non Verba. Click here to learn more.

Congratulate Our New Board Co-Chairs…And Apply to Join our Board

Khiaecia Key and Sarah Ting have leapt into action with Team ANV!

Just three weeks ago, these amazing women were voted in as Acta Non Verba’s Executive Board Co-Chairs. Last year, they joined the group of dedicated and talented individuals that make up ANV’s Advisory and Executive Boards. Today, they’re ready to help lead ANV to new heights.

We are recruiting for Executive Board members right NOW!

Click here for our Board Inquiry Package.

Click here for our Board applications.

Take a look and #TakeTheLeap with us! #EastOaklandRising!

Three Things We Learned About Farming And Each Other

Kelly: Hey Kaiyah, it’s the holidays so we should talk about why we are grateful to ANV and the communities we serve. Our work has taught us so many things abut ourselves and each other – and what community means to us and our campers.

Kai: Sure, I guess… But you know, I’m more of an “Acta” not a “Verba”. Hehehe

Kelly: *Rolling eyes* Right. Ok, so let’s talk it out. What are some things we’ve learned?
Kai (above left): I learned how similar people are to plants. Like their basic necessities. They need to feel comfortable and their behavior like, if you don’t pay attention to them they might die. But if you pay them a lot of attention, they will be fruitful and prosper.

Kelly: I get what you’re saying though… I’ve learned that YOU are a lot like a garden plant. I have to pay you a LOT of attention to make sure you are fruitful and prosper! That’s why I hire community members that know how to speak “kid” and give the attention the kids need to have and learn.

Kai: I am grateful for all of the good lessons I’ve learned from ANV. Like gardening is so much more than a chore or a hobby it has a meaning and the meaning is life so, I would say that ANV has taught me the meaning of life. But really, I learned that you’re more than just a mommy to me… You’re also a mommy to tomatoes and basil and greens… and other kids too.

Kelly: Yeah, sometimes I feel like I’m spread thin… but I know how important it is for kids to know not only where food comes from, but also that there is a place in the neighborhood where they are safe and can play without worrying about what’s happening outside our programs. I’ve learned that it really does take a village to make sure that every child has their best chance at having a good life.

Kai: I learned that I am more responsible than most adults think I am. Adults think that I’m just a little girl… Like, I can’t really do anything. But, when I’m farming, I can take care of a plant. And I don’t care what people think about me. It honestly empowers me, as a person. It makes me feel like I’m making a change in the community and I might be a little kid, but I know how to do this. I know how to grow food that my community can eat and grow strong!

Kelly: Yes! Seeing kids grow up and learn how to work with plants and community and have fun doing it inspires me too! I feel so great when kids are able to show their parents around the farm and how much pride they show in their accomplishments makes me so happy!

Thank you for getting us half way to our year end goal of $25,000 – will you help us keep our work fruitful by donating today?

Happy holidays from all of us in the ANV Family!

ANV’S 2011-2015 In Review Report Is Here!

Dear ANV Supporter,

2015 was an AMAZING year! For a summary of our accomplishments to date, stop by our offices to pick up a copy of our newly published report, 2011-2015 in Review. You can also download the report here. This piece details the highlights of our growing organization, including:

  • Executive Director Kelly Carlisle honored by President Barack Obama, Assemblymember Rob Bonta, ABC 7, and the Super Bowl 50 Fund.
  • Awarded contract to install seven school and community farms across Alameda County in 2015-2016
  • Started accepting EBT payments for CSAs and produce with support from Phat Beets Produce
  • Started a local Food Pantry with partner Project Access in Tassafaronga Village
  • Hosted 30+ schools and non-profits to learn about farming and consulted on 20+ local gardens.

In 2016, ANV aims to further prove our commitment to our communities by providing all ages with opportunities to learn, grow, and be present as well as advocating for a more just and equitable food system, education system, and by instilling hope and excitement in the lives of our youth. We want to expand our camps to ensure more than 300 youth have access to enriching, healthy, safe, educational, and FUN activities during school breaks. But we can’t do all of this without YOUR SUPPORT!

So download our 2011-2015 In Review Report today, sign up for our newsletter, volunteer on the farm or at the camps, and donate and help us reach our campaign goal of $25,000! Together, we can grow a brighter future for youth and their families in East Oakland one tomato, book, and jumping jack at a time!

Entries Due August 1, 2015 for 2nd Annual Future Peace NOW Art Contest

ANV's 2nd Annual Art Contest!! Entries Due August 1st!

Acta Non Verba is looking for your masterpiece for our Second Annual Youth Art Contest: “Future Peace Now”!

The contest is open to Oakland Youth grades K-12. Youths are encouraged to create original artworks that speak to “What Brings Peace?” The artworks could be created individually or in a group, classroom, or community setting.

Prizes:

  • All submissions will be published on the Future Peace Now website.
  • Selected artworks will be featured in an art exhibition during the Black Farmers Conference October 16th – 18th.
  • 10 artworks will be recreated as street banners and hung on International Boulevard between 80th – 85th Avenue from September – November 2015.
  • The artist will also receive a family dinner provided by Acta Non Verba.

Submission are open to all 2D mediums including illustration, poetry, photography, graphic design, etc.

All submissions must include :

  • Title of Piece
  • Artist Name
  • Age
  • Grade
  • School / Community Organization / Church.

Artwork should be submitted digitally to sasha.kelley@anvfarm.org

Or mailed to:
Acta Non Verba
Attn: Art Contest
1001 83rd Avenue, Mailbox #1
Oakland, CA 94621

For questions please call 415-368-3769.

All entries must be submitted by August 1, 2015!

ANV’s Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Is Open NOW!

Acta Non Verba’s Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) allows city residents to have direct access to high quality, fresh produce grown ultra locally by our Kid Farmers. When you become a member of a CSA, you’re purchasing a “share” of vegetables from a regional farmer.

Pick-Up

Weekly or bi-weekly, from June 17 until August 14, 2015, our farmers will deliver that share of produce to a convenient pick-up location at One Stop, 8400 International Boulevard, Oakland, CA 94621.
Our farmers can also deliver produce to your home for an additional fee.
ANV's Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) starts again on June 17, 2015!! Sign Up NOW!

Payment

CSA members pay for an entire season of produce upfront or on a week-to-week basis.

Shares usually include 5-7 types of vegetables, enough for a family of 2-4 people. Half shares for smaller households are available upon request.*

Click here to register for our CSA today!

*Adapted from http://www.justfood.org/csa

Acta Non Verba Honored At The White House

President Obama Hosts Iftar Dinner at the White House

Last night, President Obama hosted his sixth Iftar dinner celebrating Ramadan at the White House, an annual tradition started by First Lady Hillary Clinton when she hosted a Ramadan Eid celebration dinner in 1996. Many consider President Thomas Jefferson to be the first President to host an Iftar dinner, as he hosted a sunset dinner to accommodate the fasts of an envoy from Tunisia over 200 years ago.

The Iftar is the meal after sunset that concludes the day of fasting during the month of Ramadan, a time to pray and reflect, to be reminded that we are equals in humanity, and to reaffirm commitments to helping the less fortunate, including those struggling from economic hardship and inequality.

Last night, guests were welcomed into the East Wing where a copy of the Quran owned by President Thomas Jefferson, one of the founding fathers of the United States, was on display from the Library of Congress. At sunset, guests gathered in the Grand Foyer to break their fast with a date following the traditional melodic Muslim call to prayer led by a local student from the University of Maryland. Then finally, after a 16-hour day of fasting since sunrise, guests gathered in the State Dining Room for a halal meal with the President.

Among attendees were members of the diplomatic corps, White House administration officials, U.S. Government staff, elected officials, and Muslim Americans who have been doing great work to strengthen the fabric and prosperity of our nation. This year’s Iftar celebrated Muslim Americans working tirelessly to fight income inequality by creating opportunities for access, whether through education, health, food security, or at-risk youth development.

Among those at the President’s table was Kelly Carlisle, a former member of the Navy who leads an urban farming program where at-risk children grow and sell fresh food to eat healthier and deposit the profits they earn into individual savings accounts to build toward a better future.

Aala Muhammed’s parents emigrated from Sudan and worked several jobs to send her to a good high school in Chicago, but her hopes of going to college faced financial challenges. With the help of a nonprofit that focuses on young people, she earned admissions to Yale University and now runs her own program to encourage girls of color to pursue science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education.

Also seated with the President was Muhammed Chaudhry, who runs a foundation that works with schools, parents, and local IT startups to better prepare students to embrace science and math and find creative ways to keep academic enrichment programs going for low-income students in the face of summer program budget cuts.

During his remarks, the President thanked the Muslim community for the contributions they’ve made to create opportunities for those who lack access. No matter our faith, race or gender, we are equals in humanity.

Tonight we reaffirm a simple truth.  Fundamental to the character of our country is our freedom of religion — the right to practice our faith as we choose, to change our faith if we choose, or to practice no faith at all and to do all this free from fear of.  All of us are deserving of an equal opportunity to thrive — no matter who we are, what we look like, what we believe, or how we pray.  And all of us have an obligation to do our part — to help others overcome barriers, to reverse the injustice of inequality and to help more of our fellow citizens share in the promise of America.

In Islam, there is a hadith that says God helps the servant as long as the servant helps his brother.  In other words, we’re summoned to serve and lift up one another, and that’s the lesson of several of our guests here tonight.

President Obama also wished Muslim Americans and Muslims all around the world a blessed Ramadan.

Read the President’s Ramadan statement here.

Click here to check out the White House Blog.