The Issue

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West Contra Costa Literacy Coalition

 

The end of 3rd Grade Marks the point when children transition from learning to read to reading to learn. Children who read 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 face barriers to meeting this crucial milestone.

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Low-income children are also more likely to miss out on high quality early learning experiences.

The six hour, 180-day school year is insufficient to educate many students in urban public schools.  The Coalition recognizes that academic achievement is a year-round activity and embraces Out of School Time Learning to include after-school and summer learning programs with a focus on increasing literacy skills.

Click to learn more about Summer Learning Loss 

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History

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The West Contra Costa Literacy Coalition is a collective impact project with parent leaders, educators, librarians, service providers, businesses, and WCCUSD, taking an equity approach to ensure all children in West Contra Costa read at grade level by third grade.  We accomplish this through sub-grants and Action Teams: Out of School Time, Early Learning, and Parent Engagement.

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.

 

[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]

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Coalition Goals

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The West Contra Costa Literacy Coalition has developed the following long-term goals,

  1. Out-of-School Time. Increase access to high quality summer and after-school programs that inspire, empower, and educate children in WCC.
  2. Parent Engagement. Parents are invested and engaged in their children’s learning every day.
  3. Early Learning/School Readiness. Ensure that all children in West Contra Costa (WCC) are school-ready.

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Coalition Partners

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 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* Girl’s Inc.
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
Kaye Burnside* 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
Stacey Street* 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
 Elise Veliz  Youth, School & Community Partnerships Division, City of San Pablo
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
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

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Data

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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

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