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County Office Awarded $14.5 Million Grant to Increase Reading Skills

The San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) has been awarded a $14.5 million learning acceleration grant from the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence (CCEE) for Project CLEAR (California Literacy Elevation by Accelerating Reading). The project aims to address students’ learning recovery and acceleration by providing access to reading supports and intervention.

SDCOE and its partner Saint Mary’s College (SMC) will use the funds to train teacher leaders, reading specialists, and classroom teachers on how to best support students using research-based course work and professional learning. Additionally, SDCOE will support teachers in earning certification in Reading Recovery/Descubriendo la Lectura (DLL). These programs help increase the number of highly qualified teachers who can positively impact outcomes for diverse students, such as students who are under-resourced, students who are multilingual, and students with disabilities.

“The evidenced-based instructional strategies that the teachers in this grant program will implement will have a profound effect on student achievement as it accelerates student learning,” explained Dr. Shannon Baker, senior director of curriculum and instruction for SDCOE. “This is especially critical right now due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic that has contributed to lost instructional time for California students.”

“Based on what we’ve seen with existing Reading Recovery/DLL instruction programs, we know that students make accelerated progress with continued support from trained teachers, and can maintain these gains,” said Baker. “By expanding the programs and increasing capacity, we will be able to help some of our region’s most vulnerable students truly thrive.”

Recognizing this work must be sustainable beyond the grant, SDCOE and SMC are focusing on building the capacity of school district leaders, creating the infrastructure necessary for long-term sustainability, guiding school districts in their implementation, providing technical assistance, and facilitating district- and school-level data collection.

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