"Working together, we are limited only by our imagination." -Marcus A. Foster
The mission of Marcus A. Foster Educational Institute (MAFEI) is to develop relationships and mobilize resources that create opportunities for all children in the Oakland public schools to achieve excellence.
Established in 1973 by the OUSD superintendent for whom the organization was later named, Marcus A. Foster Educational Institute has worked for 30 years to carry out Dr. Foster's vision that urban education can be transformed only when the community actively participates. The Institute has a record of service to a multicultural community with a broad range of educational needs.
Our community outreach programs include:
New Notions for Excellence. This hallmark program of the Institute awards up to $2,000 to teachers in the Oakland public schools (OPS) who develop innovative projects to enhance student learning and support professional development.
Children and Youth Grants. A new program of the Institute, Children and Youth Grants is an initiative designed to build leadership skills and resiliency in Oakland's young people by providing funds to send them to camps, workshops, conferences, and training programs, or to provide them other enriching, structured activities identified by young people and a caring adult.
College Scholarships. MAFEI, through partnerships with local businesses, community organizations, and individuals, awards more than 60 scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $2,000 to high school graduating seniors of the Oakland Unified School District. Since 1975, over 1,500 students have received scholarships. Graduating seniors with a grade point average of 2.5 or higher are eligible to apply.
Oakland Technology Exchange-West (OTX-W). MAFEI's OTX-W project, in partnership with OUSD's Technology Department and Urban Dreams Project, provides home and classroom computer systems, technical support, and low-cost Internet access to high school and middle school students attending Oakland public schools. These high-quality, restored computers provide students, parents, and teachers an invaluable resource to promote lifelong learning, while diverting equipment from landfill.
Parenting University. In collaboration with the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) and a number of community-based organizations. MAFEI provides educational opportunities that help parents support their children's academic success and social well-being at school sites and neighborhood centers throughout Oakland.
Fiscal Responsibility. MAFEI serves as the fiscal sponsor of several projects that work in tandem with Oakland public schools to provide support and development for students, teachers, and families.
Distinguished Educator, Alumnus, and Partner Awards. We recognize the leaders in the Oakland public schools who are role models for today's students and educators. These awards encourage excellence and innovation as well as focus the community's attention on OPS champions.
Principal for a Day. Volunteers from the public and the business community partner with the OUSD to experience "a day in the life" of a principal, to help them learn about the challenges faced and the common ground they share.