The Contra Costa County Office of Education is the recipient of a $9.8 million grant from the state department of education aimed at increasing literacy rates with the ultimate goal of ensuring that every student learns to read by third grade.
"We are committed to making literacy a priority in our county and throughout the entire state of California," Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools Lynn Mackey said. "That 'aha moment' when you see a reader who struggled for so long become confident and enjoys reading is magical."
The grant means that CCCOE will be the lead agency responsible for offering professional development opportunities to K-12 teachers that are intended to increase literacy rates and aid students who are struggling. They will partner with offices of education in San Diego and Glen counties, along with University of La Verne, University of California San Francisco, and several nonprofits aimed at accelerating literacy for students and promoting professional education for teachers.
"Thank you to the California Department of Education for believing in our literacy programming successes and allowing CCCOE to share our strategies and partnerships with all California educators," Mackey said. "This is a huge honor and ultimately a win for students."
The statewide effort has been titled Project ARISE (Accelerating Reading Intervention for Systemic Excellence). In addition to supporting traditional K-12 students, the program seeks to increase literacy rates and opportunities for non-native English speakers of all ages, as well as those struggling with dyslexia and other learning difficulties that can pose an obstacle to literacy.
"Our goal is to develop a statewide network of trained educators who will share and carry these practices forward in their careers," said Nicolas Zefeldt, CCCOE director of curriculum and Instruction. "Our consortium is proposing a three-tiered learning model that provides baseline, strategic, and intensive training focused on building educators' capacity to implement evidence-based learning acceleration strategies."
Community tree lighting
The city of San Ramon is hosting its annual community tree lighting on Dec. 3, with festivities set for the city hall rotunda and Central Park meadow.
The event is set to kick off at 4 p.m. at the Central Park skatepark with a crafts and hot chocolate bar, followed by caroling at the rotunda starting at 4:10 p.m. The tree lighting itself, functioning as the main event, is set to kick off at the meadow at 5:30 p.m.
More information is available here.
Clairdee and the Ken French Trio
The San Ramon library is hosting the next installment of its Adventures in Jazz series on Dec. 3, featuring vocalist Clairdee and the Ken French Trio.
"Clairdee brings her soulfully alluring vocal style, has an intimate, vulnerable and gentle way with a ballad, yet she can swing or shout at will," officials said in an announcement.
The event is set for 7:30 p.m. at the San Ramon Main Library. More information is available here.
Santa's mailbox in Danville
Children are invited to submit a letter to Santa with the promise of a reply at two Santa's mailbox locations in Danville this year.
Letters are invited between Nov. 28 and Dec. 9 at the Danville Community Center between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m on Fridays, and at the Danville Library from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday. More information is available here.