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People of the Book

Temple Sinai's People of the Book Literacy Project was founded in the Spring of 1998 with the mission of helping Oakland's school children learn to love reading and books.

We partner with the following elementary schools in the Oakland Unified School District: Think College Now, International Community School, Sankofa Academy, and Greenleaf School.

We work toward our mission in many ways:

  • More than 30 tutors meet with over 70 students each week throughout the school year. 
  • We give 3000 paperbacks directly to students each year at our school-wide giveaway events, and also donate hundreds of books to school libraries and classrooms.  We also donate magazines to students and to school libraries. 
  • Library volunteers help by processing and shelving donated books (we have created 5 school libraries), and by helping to keep libraries attractive places for students to visit.  
  • Teen volunteers provide academic help and companionship at an after-school homework center at a partner school. 
  • Volunteers visit classes to read stories, and have provided art and music enrichment.  
  • With generous cash donations from congregants and friends, we arrange author visits to schools (including Joanne Rocklin’s visit).   
  • We purchase books and reading incentives like bookmarks, classroom materials, and school supply kits.  And we have donated carpeting, posters, beanbag seats for libraries, and sports equipment. 
  • In cooperation with other groups, we provide much needed social services -- arranging delivery of 150 bags of food a week to one school, conducting a holiday Adopt-a-Family project as well as a food drive for the winter break, and making school-site improvements as part of the Temple's annual Mitzvah Day project. 

For more information about the Literacy Project, follow these links: “Making A Difference” and “How You Can Help”.