Program Is Part of Effort to Grow Childhood Literacy in Oakland and to Expand School Volunteerism

On Thursday, December 12, at 10:30 AM, parents, teachers, and school and community leaders will join together at the Reach Academy in East Oakland to level 2,000 books for children in K – 3 classrooms. Park Day School generously donated the books.

The event, which is a Volunteer School Work Day, is part of the district-wide Classroom Leveled Library program. Oakland Reads 2020, a community-driven initiative to double the percentage of children who can read on grade level by the end of third grade, is supporting this literacy effort and coordinating the volunteer event.

“Reading on grade level is one of the most important predictors for high school graduation and career success, but right now, 42% of Oakland students are leaving third grade unprepared,” said Sanam Jorjani, Oakland Reads 2020 Program Manager. “Helping students gain access to books at an individualized reading level in their own classroom has the potential to change this trend.”

At the event, speakers will talk about the impact that classroom leveled libraries can make on childhood literacy and provide additional details on how the Oakland Unified School District will expand the Classroom Leveled Library program to all K – 3 classrooms in the district. They will also share highlights of the impact they have already made locally at 26 schools and 300 classrooms. Finally, they will share details of what Bay Area residents can do to support teachers and students through this effort.

WHEN: Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 10:30 AM

WHAT: Update on Effort to Dramatically Increase the Percentage of Oakland Children Reading on Grade Level by the End of Third Grade

WHERE: Reach Academy, 9860 Sunnyside St., Oakland, CA 94603

WHO: The event will include a number of Oakland leaders. Speakers include:
· Awele Makeba – Literacy Specialist, Oakland Unified School District
· Michelle Smith – Community Relations Assistant, Reach Academy
· Sanam Jorjani – Program Manager, Oakland Reads 2020

VISUALS:
· Parent, teacher and community volunteers leveling 2,000 books for Reach Academy

WHY: To expand the number of children reading on grade level by the end of third grade, Oakland Reads 2020 supports a range of community solutions, including classroom leveled libraries.

To determine reading levels, teachers assess the highest level book that a child can read and match the student to books that are challenging enough to improve their reading ability, but not so hard that the child becomes frustrated and wants to give up. Classroom leveled libraries benefit teachers, allowing them to provide balanced literacy instruction that is tailored to the individual learning needs.

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