OAKLAND: An Oakland community initiative aimed at improving young children’s reading skills has been recognized with a top accolade.
The campaign for Grade-Level Reading said that Oakland Reads 2020 was a community pacesetter thanks to its efforts to improve reading proficiency among young children in the city.
"We were impressed and inspired by what Oakland has accomplished so far," said Ralph Smith, the campaign’s managing director.
The campaign is part of a nationwide movement of local leaders, states, nonprofits, and foundations that focus on promotion of grade-level reading of students.
In Oakland, figures suggest that only 42 percent of third grade students read at or above grade level, and the initiative's goal is to have at least 85 percent of students reading successfully by the end of third grade by the year 2020.
"Every child in this city deserves an opportunity to learn to read and write,” said Oakland Mayor, Jean Quan.
"Successful students can reach their dreams, strengthen our local economy, and help us reduce violence in our community,” she added.
The Mayor said that receiving the accolade of Community Pacesetter was an acknowledgement that the city was on the right track regarding children’s literacy.
She said receiving the honor of pacesetter recognizes the collective, city-wide campaign to improve student’s reading proficiency, especially those from low-income families.
Oakland Reads 2020 was launched in June of last year as a collaboration of the City of Oakland, the Oakland Unified School District and nearly 100 public and private organizations. It is supported by a collaborative group of funders that includes the Rogers Family Foundation, the Kenneth Rainin Foundation, and the East Bay Community Foundation.
Acknowledging that schools alone cannot address all children’s literacy problems, the communities are working together to ensure that youngsters arrive at kindergarten ready to succeed, attend school regularly and keep learning through the summer months.
Associate Superintendent of Family, Schools and Community Partnerships, Curtiss Sarikley said the collaboration was in line with the Oakland Unified Schools District’s vision for thriving communities.
“Each child is supported to be ready to succeed in college and careers, and lead healthy and happy lives. We are encouraged by the recognition of these valuable partnerships in the city."
The campaign embeds commitment around four key pillars of a child’s reading success. These include Kindergarten readiness; school attendance/chronic absence; summer learning and family engagement.
For more information about the campaign you can visit their website at the following link:
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