Contra Costa ­receives $5 million grant to support literacy efforts

Contra Costa ­receives $5 million grant to support literacy efforts

Contra Costa ­receives $5 million grant to support literacy efforts
Photo by Aaron Burden on
Lynn Mackey, Contra Costa  Superintendent of Schools

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, CA (Oct. 14, 2021) —Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools Lynn Mackey announced the county office of education has been awarded a grant worth $5 million over three years to build school capacity to support students struggling with reading, including, but not limited to, students with disabilities and students with dyslexia.

As one of  seven county offices of education to receive the grant from the California Department of Education, Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE) will serve as a Local Literacy Agency as part of the Comprehensive Literacy State Development (CLDS) federal grant program. San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) will receive about $2 million of the grant as CCCOE’s partnering agency. CCCOE will work with Oakley Union Elementary School District (OUESD) to implement the grant in Northern California, and SDCOE will work with Oceanside Unified School District in Southern California.

“We are thrilled to be recipients of such an important grant that will allow us to develop and design strategies for literacy learning for all students, and also support our most vulnerable and challenged students,” Superintendent Mackey said. “This type of foundational work is crucial for the lifelong success of all students and we look forward to completing this crucial work with the Oakley Union Elementary School District.”

Helping for struggling readers

The funds will help to build capacity to serve struggling readers, including students with disablities and dyslexia, by strengthening district and site multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS); developing district and pilot site literacy plans and implementing evidence-based strategies through improvement cycles; and increasing family and community engagement in literacy.

The Oakley school district was chosen based on review of their  Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) goals, student enrollment and demographics, and academic performance data. The expertise and resources that Literacy Lead Agencies generate with their model schools will be disseminated to educators across the state through the Statewide System of Support.

“This is an exciting opportunity to improve literacy for students in the Oakley Union Elementary School District, and ultimately throughout the state,” OUESD Superintendent Jeffrey Palmquist said. “We look forward to working with Superintendent Mackey and her staff at the county office of education to research, implement and refine practices proven to improve student literacy outcomes.”

CCCOE’s project, “Every Child Reads,” is focused on literacy through the use of evidence-based practices, activities and interventions, including pre-literacy skills, reading and writing. Grantees are directed to use the funding to build expertise in strategies that address the statewide literacy priorities identified in the Comprehensive Literacy Plan and implement these strategies through a three-year, small-scale pilot with a local school district.

For more information about the Comprehensive Literacy State Development Grant and/or the California Comprehensive State Literacy Plan, please visit the CDE webpage.