The Issue

Collapse Expand

West Contra Costa Literacy Coalition

(Campaign for Grade Level Reading)

The Issue

The end of 3rd Grade Marks the point when children transition from learning to read to reading to learn. Reading proficiency by third grade is the most important predictor of high school graduation and career success – children who read proficiently by the end of 3rd Grade are more likely to graduate from high school and be college ready. Yet every year, more than 80 percent of low-income children miss this crucial milestone.

Expand Section

Unfortunately, many children, especially those living in low-income families, have not met the developmental milestones necessary for future success in school or life. Low-income children are also more likely to miss out on high quality early learning experiences, which can help mitigate these delays.

The conventional six hour, 180-day school year is insufficient to adequately educate many students in urban public schools. Simply adding hours and days to the schedule will not eliminate the problems unless children are engaged in programs that include activities known to boost learning. That said, the Coalition recognizes that academic achievement is a year-round activity that embraces Out-of-School Learning to include after-school and summer learning programs. Additionally, the early learning years are crucial to ensure that children enter Kindergarten and 1st Grade ready to learn.

Click to learn more about Summer Learning Loss 

Collapse Section

History

Collapse Expand

The West Contra Costa Literacy Coalition is a network of committed organizations that seeks to create and implement a comprehensive plan to ensure that all children in West Contra Costa Unified School District have access to quality learning opportunities to succeed academically in school and read on grade level by grade 3.

The Coalition was established by the Richmond Community Foundation (RCF) in 2015, in partnership with key stakeholders and with funding support from the Hellman Foundation and the California Endowment.

The West Contra Costa Literacy Coalition aspires to support academic achievement, reduce the achievement gap, and facilitate the collaborative efforts of direct service providers in three key areas of need: Early Learning, Attendance, and Out of School Time.

[Photo: Parents pick up free books for their children at the WCC Literacy Coalition’s Attendance Convening on February 5, 2016. Books were provided by West County Reads and Nothing But the Truth Publishing]

Collapse Section

Coalition Goals

Collapse Expand

The West Contra Costa Literacy Coalition has developed the following long-term goals, each corresponding to one of the priorities outlined above:

  1. Early Learning/School Readiness. Ensure that all children in West Contra Costa (WCC) are school-ready
  2. Out-of-School Time. Increase access to high quality summer and after-school programs that inspire, empower, and educate children in WCC
  3. Reduce Chronic Absenteeism. Reduce the number of children in WCC that are chronically absent

Collapse Section

Coalition Partners

Collapse Expand

 Contact  Organization
Alisha Fowler Bloom Educational Enrichment
Alison McKee  Hercules and Crocket Libraries
Bertha Romo Youth Services Program Coordinator, City of San Pablo
Betsy Merzenich*  Hellman Foundation  
Betty Burris-Wright City of Richmond Human Rights Commission
Beverly Roberts Charles Writer Coach Connection 
Blanca G. Esparza Teacher
Consuelo Lara Retired Teacher
Cristal Banagan* Learning Out Loud Educational Community 
Dedan JiJaga Richmond Grinders Track Club
Demetrio Gonzalez WCCUSD – Teacher
Diana Lin Occupational Therapy Training Program-SF
Diana Aranda The California Endowment
Dulce Torres Tandem Partners in Early Learning
Eric Aaholm Youth Enrichment Strategies
Erica Goode* RCF Board Member
Gia Paolini Contra Costa Library
Gabi Rivas First Five Contra Costa
Genoveva Calloway City of San Pablo Councilmember
Gloria Scoggins BlackBoard/RCF Board Member
James Becker Richmond Community Foundation
Janet Scott Director of Early Learning, WCCUSD
Joel Mackey The Ed Fund
Kathleen Maloney Irene S. Scully Foundation 
Katie Melara* Contra Costa Child Care Council
Katy Curl Richmond Public Library
Kristen Turek Marin Community Foundation
Laura Rodriguez Tandem Partners in Early Learning
Lucy Parada Tandem Partners in Early Learning
Lyn Potter West Contra Costa Unified School District
Maureen Powers Gemstone Foundation
Mialisa Bonta* Bring Me A Book/Literacy Lab
Michelle Torgersen Reading Partners
Neal Bottom WCCUSD – Teacher
Nicole Kyauk* East Bay Community Foundation
Olanrewaju Ajai* Coordinator of Early Learning WCCUSD
Pamela Mirabella CCC Office of Education
Pat Loomes Girls Smart Literacy Program
Qiana Washington Washington & Associates
Robert Bunce* The Ed Fund
Robin Wilson* West County Reads
Rochelle Monk  City of Richmond
Ron Shaw Youth Service Bureau
Ruth Major* Read Alound Volunteer Program
Sandra Stewart Administrative Librarian, City of Richmond
Shabnaz Yousefia* Richmond Community Foundation
Sherry Drobner* Literacy for Every Adult Program
Shirley Kalinowski REading ADvantage
Sonja Neely-Johnson* Director of Educational Services, WCCUSD
Teodora Ildefonzo-Olmo Community Services Coordinator/Community Schools Initiative, City of San Pablo
Tyler Hester Teach for America
Zulema Inai* Literacy Lab

*Members who are part of the Steering Committee

Collapse Section

Data

Collapse Expand

In West Contra Costa (WCC) County, an average of 26% of third graders are on track in ELA SBAC Assessment test scores. This means that an average of 1 in 4 third graders is reading on grade level. In some elementary schools in Richmond, only 5% of third graders are reading on grade level.

Needs Assessment

Collapse Section






Interested in joining our mailing list?