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People, Community and Connections


In this newsletter, learn how R.O.C.K. has teamed up with the San Francisco Beacon Initiative to have more of an impact than ever, read about our latest "super" corporate volunteering event, and meet our newest staff member.


Superheros for a Day
How Zynga Volunteers Transformed the Cafeteria into a Superhero Training Ground
By Jenna Watanabe, Marketing & Development Coordinator

What do you get when you mix a group of endorphin-loving volunteers from a gaming company with 1st-5th graders who love superheros?


A crazy fun company volunteer day helping kids discover their SUPER powers.

R.O.C.K. partnered up with Zynga and Ethos Health Co. last November for a volunteer event to transform the mundane cafeteria into a superhero training ground.

With input and resources from the EHC Team Lead and Location Manager, Meg Hallinan and R.O.C.K.’s Marketing & Development Coordinator, Jenna Watanabe, they designed the perfect event for Zynga’s corporate volunteer team.  Aligned with elements of fitness and an overarching theme of superhero qualities, this collective effort aimed to empower kids through the power of physical fitness and strong community values.

The event setup was quick and flawless. Zynga volunteers tackled each project within minutes, wrapping shoe boxes to look like city buildings, strategically taping red streamers between tables to resemble “lasers” and practicing agility ladder drills bordering the room. Then each volunteer adorned their own superhero mask and cape...

Click to read the full article


Meet Natalie Toland, R.O.C.K.’s Elementary School Beacon Director

By Jenna Watanabe, Marketing & Development Coordinator

Please help us welcome our newest R.O.C.K. addition to the management team, Natalie Toland, our Elementary School Beacon Director. In this interview, Natalie tells us about what motivated her about R.O.C.K.’s mission and shares advice for youth who may be feeling a bit out of place.

JW: So Natalie, tell us, what is your big “why”? Why did you apply to work with R.O.C.K.?

NT: I was drawn to the mission of R.O.C.K. I believe in working with the youth and families of San Francisco and helping all students...

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R.O.C.K. Deepens Roots as the Preferred Community Based Organization in Visitacion Valley

An interview with R.O.C.K.’s Program Director, Gina Patterson on R.O.C.K.’s Partnership with the San Francisco Beacon Initiative

By Jenna Watanabe, Marketing & Development Coordinator

JW: Thanks for sitting down with me today Gina! I thought it would be great to let R.O.C.K.’s supporters know how we provide after school, Saturday and summer programs for two schools that are also part of another local powerhouse--the SF Beacon Initiative.

On their website, the San Francisco Beacon Initiative describes the organization as “coordinating public and private partnerships and funding that enable schools, communities, and families to offer academic, social, and emotional support to their youth as they prepare for lives as successful adults. Beacon Centers transform public schools into youth and family centers that become a beacon of activity for the surrounding neighborhood.” As of last year R.O.C.K. was confirmed as the community-based organization (or CBO) at two of the many Beacon sites in San Francisco.  

So what exactly does that mean for R.O.C.K. to be the CBO of choice for both El Dorado Elementary School and Visitacion Valley Middle School?

GP: It’s...

Click to read the full article

Coming Up!

Check out our upcoming volunteer opportunities

Basketball Skill Drills

Every Saturday, now through March 2nd. 9:30 AM - Noon. Visitacion Valley, San Francisco.
This program is a participant and volunteer favorite! Volunteers partner up with R.O.C.K. staff to provide 1st-5th grade kids the opportunity to learn and practice basketball skills. Teach them how to dribble and perfect their layups in this introductory sports clinic as you spend the first few hours of your Saturday morning having fun and making an impact in a child's life. No previous experience necessary. Sign up as an individual or group by emailing

Student Adult Leadership Training (SALT)

Every Saturday, now through March 2nd. Times and locations vary.
Be a positive adult mentor for middle school students as they expand their horizons. As you accompany them on trips throughout the city alongside R.O.C.K. staff we know you'll enjoy the activities just as much as they do! This winter we'll be ice skating and playing in the snow park, plus visiting Stanford and Berkeley to catch a wrestling match and a rugby game! Email for exact time/location details. All volunteers must have a car.

High School Leadership Academy (HSLA)
Volunteers team up with R.O.C.K. staff to lead high school participants on Saturday life and learning adventures. For any volunteers interested in working with high school youth, please email to see how you can get involved!

See what's new at R.O.C.K.
NBC's The Today Show
Watch R.O.C.K's feature on NBC's The Today Show with Al Roker.
Lil' Kid Camp
Check out what all the fuss is about with R.O.C.K.'s annual Lil' Kid Camp.
Strategic Planning
Learn about how we will take R.O.C.K. to the next level with our 3-year strategic plan.
Meet Joi
Meet R.O.C.K. alumni Joi and her journey to Sonoma State University...
Our mission is to nurture the healthy development of children by listening attentively to their needs and by providing opportunities to those who might not otherwise have access.
Our Story
Real Options for City Kids Mission, Purpose and History
Signature Programs
High-Quality Active and Academic Programming
Our Impact
R.O.C.K. is Fundamental in Our Community
Want to see a better tomorrow for Visitaction Valley?
Let’s start with our kids. Be a Volunteer
Your donation can help R.O.C.K. in many ways.
Celebrating 20 Years of service for children and youth in San Francisco.
73 Leland Ave, San Francisco, CA 94134

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