J school dean discusses $5m Bay Area News Project

The Bay Area News Project, a nonprofit media venture that will start with a $5 million grant from Bay Area financier Warren Hellman,  will bridge gaps in coverage of local news issues while guiding reporters through an era of shrinking job opportunities and technological change, a leader of the project said Tuesday. Neil Henry, dean of U.C. Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, made the remarks about the recently-announced endeavor at an afternoon meeting held on the UC Berkeley campus.  The plan,…

Meet Serina Elliott, future kitchen champion

In this video, we follow Serina Elliott, a Kitchen of Champions student from North Oakland’s Golden Gate neighborhood. Just four weeks into her program, Elliot aspires to one day become “a Food Network star.”

At Sankofa Academy, fathers know best

Concerned dads are stepping up and getting involved at Sankofa Academy, a small school that’s making big strides toward addressing Oakland’s student achievement gap. Story by Jake Schoneker/Oakland North

For talented kids, a chance to dance, rap and show their skills

It seems like a tall order. Wanted: fifteen volunteer hip-hop or modern dance performers willing to learn spoken word theater for a Spring show in Oakland and possible national tour. Song, rap, martial arts and aerial dance skills could also come in handy. Oh, yes–and actors must be 12 or younger. The group will be known as “Destiny Junior Company,” and the idea emerged out of Destiny Art Center, a non-profit that runs dance, theater and martial arts classes for…

Oakland parents share questions, concerns with new superintendent

There were homemade brownies and ginger cookies at the town hall meeting Wednesday, where people had gathered to meet and ask questions of Tony Smith, the new superintendent of Oakland schools.  School Board Director Jody London, who baked the goodies, had set up the event and welcomed the overflowing room of parents, administrators and district employees. When Smith took the floor he said he saw his job as “the most wonderful, incredible opportunity,” and though he was honest about the…

Students prep for green-collar careers

Berkeley High is one of five California schools chosen to participate in a cutting-edge program designed to train students for environmentally friendly jobs and careers. State Senator Loni Hancock and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell attended a Wednesday morning assembly unveiling the new curriculum.

Weekend event: ArtEsteem turns local students into showcased artists

Shades of blue are swished across a white canvas. Bold red fish contrast against a painted sea while faint bubbles surround a mermaid with green hair, bright lips and golden sunglasses. The mermaid’s name is Jasmin Flower. She has special powers to make the world a safer place. And this afternoon, over 200 works of art like “Jasmin Flower” will be on sale at Studio One Art Center at 365 45th Street in North Oakland. Today’s event, which celebrates the…