Dr. Seuss Birthday Celebration March 1, 2013 Marks Beginning of Citywide Literacy Campaign

Feb 26, 2013, 10:07 ET from Oakland Literacy Coalition

OAKLAND, Calif., Feb. 26, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Policymakers and educators of all stripes will be donning their Cat-in-the-Hat hats on March 1, 2013 and reading to young children to celebrate Dr. Seuss's birthday. Our commitment to early literacy must run deeper than a single day's celebration.

Across the country, two-thirds of our students aren't reading proficiently by the end of third grade, a critical milestone that affects how they fare in school and whether they eventually graduate.

That's why leaders in Oakland have made a remarkable commitment to a new citywide literacy program, Oakland Reads 2020, and are coming together behind a single goal: 85% of Oakland 3rd graders reading at grade level by the year 2020.

Third grade marks the point when children transition from learning to read to reading to learn. We know when children do not master reading by that point, they get left behind as the curriculum speeds forward with more complex assignments. Many eventually drop out of high school and fail to find success in the job market. Improving early reading can help us close achievement gaps, increase graduation rates, support our local economy and build a strong community.

Everyone can help. You can start by donning your own striped hat and participating in the many Read Across America Day activities celebrating Dr. Seuss's birthday. Check with your local library for specific activities and schedules or, consider volunteering.

Volunteers are needed for all K-2 classrooms (through 5th grade if they get enough volunteers!) at Brookfield, New Highland, Reach and Rise elementary schools. Bilingual Spanish reading is helpful for special class matches, too. For more info or to volunteer, please email Jo at midchai@sbcglobal.net.

There are many other ways to support children's literacy development in Oakland. You can tutor a struggling reader, volunteer in your local elementary school, or even just reach out to families in your neighborhood who need an extra hand. Or, get involved with the Oakland Reads 2020 campaign. For more information, visit http://oaklandliteracycoalition.org.


Oakland Literacy Coalition
The Oakland Literacy Coalition (OLC) is a collaboration of literacy service providers, foundations, businesses, Oakland city representatives, the Oakland Unified School District and other community partners committed to the goal of equipping, at a proficient level, all Oakland children with the life skills of reading, writing, and communication by the end of third grade. The OLC is a lead partner in developing Oakland Reads 2020, a new citywide literacy campaign aimed at dramatically increasing the number of Oakland children who are reading successfully by the year 2020.

Oakland Reads 2020
Oakland Reads 2020 is an eight-year literacy campaign aimed to achieve our collective, long-­term vision of a city where all children enter kindergarten ready for schools that are ready for them, where all of our students read proficiently, with comprehension, by third grade, and go on to graduate from high school prepared to enter college and career. Oakland Reads 2020 supports early literacy by developing and expanding community­‐based solutions to support four core foundational components – school readiness, school attendance, summer learning, and family engagement. 

Oakland Reads 2020 is a collective impact effort spearheaded by the Rogers Family Foundation and supported by the Kenneth Rainin Foundation: http://krfoundation.org/.  

SOURCE Oakland Literacy Coalition