county boards
Riverside selected for State Superintendent’s $1 million Literacy Partnership Grant
The 2017 results for English Language Arts on the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress showed 51.44 percent of all K–12 students did not meet the standard for ELA. To improve scores and increase students’ achievement in ELA, the California Department of Education and Riverside County Office of Education are working together with a focus on early literacy.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond selected two county offices of education, Tulare and Riverside, to be a part of this effort. RCOE was chosen due to current literacy efforts, paired with unmet needs with which the new partnership can help. Additionally, working with the CDE allows partners to implement strong early learning efforts, work with established biliteracy programs and provide pathways to increase student access to books in their home language. There is also great potential for customized efforts to specific underserved student populations, such as English learners, Native American students, and homeless and foster youth.

“We are excited to partner with the California Department of Education on such an urgent and important issue — increasing our students’ reading abilities,” said RCOE Superintendent Judy D. White. “The achievement gap between white students and students of color is present before they even begin kindergarten. It’s critical all students are proficient readers, that we encourage and support a love of reading, and ultimately help to improve the literacy rates for all students in Riverside County.”

On Oct. 8, RCOE held a literacy launch event to highlight the initiative, called “Readership.” The slogan for the campaign is: “Read to Me. Any Age. Any Stage.” Nine districts are participating in the literacy grant effort: Alvord, Beaumont, Corona-Norco, Desert Sands, Jurupa, Menifee, Moreno Valley, Palm Springs and Val Verde.

RCOE Director of Leadership, Innovation and Outreach Felicia Cruz-Delgado is coordinating the effort and said she looks forward to working with stakeholders to fully implement the program. “This wonderful opportunity with the California Department of Education will enhance our focus on engaging families and communities to increase literacy and opportunities for all students,” she said.