Riverside and Tulare Recieve Grants to Boost Childhood Literacy

Riverside and Tulare counties are getting help from the state in an effort to boost childhood literacy.

My LA News reports that the two counties will benefit from a $1 million literacy partnership grant from the California Department of Education for the 2019-20 academic year.

As part of the program, Riverside and Tulare agree to promote early childhood literacy among “under-served populations.” The California Department of Education’s Kindra Britt listed homeless and foster youth, Native Americans, and English learners as part of this category.

Students will receive free books, including some in their native language. Teachers will receive additional materials for reading guidance.

“We need to fix our literacy rates in California, and we need to start early and empower a whole village of support in order to get our students to the level of literacy that they should be at,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond. “I am proud of my team for finding creative ways to increase resources provided to vulnerable student populations so that we may better serve them in their quest for proficient literacy.”

Thurmond noted that more than half of kindergarteners through 12th graders failed to meet minimum literacy standards on the California Assessment of Student Performance & Progress in 2017.