We can all remember that sex ed class we had to take back in middle school—but these days, young people may be finding out about sex via social media. Teens are talking about more than the physical aspects of sex, and there is more to relationship guidance than just the birds and the bees. You may have heard about the recent suicides of young girls like Jessica Logan or Hope Whitsell who experienced intense shame and humiliation due to sexting. A new program called Dating Matters is working to help adolescents create healthy loving partnerships and also healthy attitudes about sex and sharing on social media. It's funded by the Centers for Disease Control and being implemented in Oakland, Baltimore, Chicago, and Ft. Lauderdale. The program is now in its five-year implementation phase at ten middle schools in Oakland. Mills’ student reporter Carmen Elster takes us to class.
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What is the recipe for a good education and a great school? That is the question that drives Oakland public school principal Cliff Hong. We met Hong a year ago, (listen to Karen Gordon's 2012 report) then in his second year as principal of Roosevelt Middle School in the San Antonio neighborhood. It has 650 students. Reporter Karen Gordon wanted to find out what’s been happening at Roosevelt since that story aired and she brings us this update.
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Over the past year, we’ve talked about the boom in housing costs that San Francisco has been facing, and now, neighboring Bay Area cities are also feeling the ripple effect as former San Francisco residents are looking for affordable housing elsewhere. In this climate, with prices rising fast, renters are holding on tight to their homes—even if crime within their neighborhood is going up. Mills’ student reporter Kim Ip takes us to one apartment building in the San Antonio neighborhood of Oakland to find out how families are dealing with the shrinking state of affordable and safe housing.
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Living in the bay area, we’re used to the gimmicks that can come with a sit down meal: supper clubs, costumed servers, interiors that make you feel like you’re in another world. What it all boils down to is the importance that an overall identity has for a restaurant. Jalisco’s is a family restaurant in Oakland that doesn’t rely on smoke and mirrors to bring in customers. Instead, owners of this San Antonio neighborhood eatery use their long-history of community involvement to serve food while also keeping an eye on their changing neighborhood. Mills’ student reporter, Moriah McKnight takes us on a chef’s-eye tour of this Oakland neighborhood while it tries to work together to solve its problems with a more communal approach.
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In 2002, Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown (now Governor) started the Oakland School for the Arts with the hope that students would have an outlet to express themselves through art forms like dance, theater, and visual illustrations. Flash forward to 2013: OSA just celebrated its 10th anniversary as a successful charter school, and its students, both middle and high school, are thriving on a curriculum that differs from the OUSD standard.
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What do you want to be when you grow up? That’s one big question on the minds of high school seniors. Many start their first jobs mowing lawns or flipping burgers, but wonder where those jobs will take them. But what if high school brought career opportunities to them? Not just career centers, but internships. Internships can help young people make the connection between school and work skills while building meaningful and mature relationships with adults in the workforce. One high school in Oakland is pushing students to start exploring their careers now as part of an internship based curriculum, with positive results.
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In the heart of the San Antonio East Lake district, sits the 74-year old Williams Chapel Baptist Church. It’s predominantly African American church membership used to be larger, averaging 800 people a year. But things have changed. In the last 20 years, membership is down to about 500, as the face of the neighborhood has undergone massive change. The African American community has steadily moved out of the district to other parts of Oakland and the Bay Area, and the church is struggling to attract new members. Mills’ student reporter Theresa Soares takes us to Williams Chapel to see how it is reaching out to a community that is very different from what it once was.
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