As part of a Reading Day celebration across America, State Superintendent Tony Thurmond visited the Jordan Academy of Language and Computer Science in Orange yesterday to read to students. Today Superintendent Thurmond also joined with Assemblywoman Mia Bonta to introduce Assembly Bill 2465, a bill that would establish a Community Literacy and Education Grant Program. enrichment of education through partnerships between schools and community organizations.
Superintendent Thurmond read “Say something!” by Peter H. Reynolds after discussing the importance of literacy with students. Read Across America Day is an annual reading and outreach program of the National Education Association, which calls on schools and parents across the country to celebrate reading on March 2, the birthday of beloved children’s author, the Dr Seuss.
“Achieving third-grade literacy has long been a goal of California schools and a key benchmark for measuring and predicting student achievement,” Thurmond said. “We already know that when students learn to read, they can read to learn anything, and we also know that when students don’t learn to read in third grade, they are at greater risk of dropping out. school and ending up in the criminal justice system. Over 70% of inmates in US prisons cannot read above a fourth-grade level. This needs to stop, and there is no better time than now, as we focus on transforming the California education system, to ensure that all California students meet their literacy goals.
“As the foundation for future educational success, literacy is the key to equity,” said Assemblyman Bonta. “This legislation will ease barriers to accessing books, support teacher recruitment and retention, and inspire families and the community to improve literacy and biliteracy outcomes. The intent is to advance literacy for all children in California.
Low-income children often have limited access to books. AB 2465 will ease this barrier to literacy by creating a competitive grant program that local education agencies, library districts, and public libraries can apply for to increase access to library cards for public school students. The bill would also create a program to help local educational agencies add resources to their libraries.
AB 2465 also supports bilingual and multilingual learners and educators by establishing a Family Literacy Innovation Project to engage families and communities to improve literacy and biliteracy outcomes. It would also create a program to improve career paths for bilingual and multilingual educators. These provisions are significant considering that nearly 60% of Californian children speak a language other than English at home.
As part of ongoing literacy efforts to ensure students can read by 2026, State Superintendent Thurmond has worked to expand the use of California libraries by pledging to help 100,000 students earning their first library cards by 2026 and working to secure and provide books. students and families in need. A partnership with Renaissance Learning, Inc. giving California public school students access to free e-books from December 1 through February 28 has seen more than 5 million books read and 277,000 books in Spanish, which shows that when kids have access to it, they’ll read it.
AB 2465 is sponsored by the California Department of Education and informed by recommendations from State Superintendent Thurmond’s Literacy Task Force. Read the full text of the bill on the California Legislature AB 2465 webpage.