CCCOE raises $9.8 million to share literacy strategies across California

PLEASANT HILL, California.– The Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE) has received a $9.8 million grant from the California Department of Education (CDE) to become the lead agency responsible for providing career development opportunities for K-12 Educators in California public schools have a responsibility to strengthen reading instruction for all students in the state.

CCCOE will join with seven partners to share professional development opportunities and work with schools, educators and counties to achieve the state’s critical goal: Every child learns to read from the third grade.

“We are committed to making literacy a priority in our county and throughout the state of California,” said Lynn Mackey, Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools. “That ‘aha moment’ when you see a reader who’s struggled for so long become confident and enjoy reading is magical. Thank you to the California Department of Education for believing in our literacy achievements and allowing CCCOE to share our strategies and partnerships with all California educators. This is a great honor and ultimately a win for the students.”

The new work entitled Project ARISE (Accelerating Reading Intervention for Systemic Excellence) will include partnerships between CCCOE and the San Diego County Office of Education; Glenn County Board of Education; the University of La Verne; the University of California, San Francisco; turnaround for children; TNTP (formerly known as The New Teacher Project) and National Center on Intensive Intervention. The team approach will support the acceleration of student literacy learning and evidence-based professional learning for administrators, teachers and paraeducators in the fields of reading interventions.

“Our goal is to build a nationwide network of trained educators who share these practices and advance in their careers,” said Nicolas Zefeldt, Director of Curriculum & Instruction at CCCOE. “Our consortium proposes a three-tier learning model that provides foundational, strategic, and intensive training focused on building educators’ ability to implement evidence-based learning acceleration strategies.”

CCCOE will leverage the best practices learned and the relationships built Comprehensive Literacy State Development (CLSD) Grantallowing the agency to expand statewide literacy support to a larger workspace and geographic area compared to the CLSD grant. Project ARISE will support more educators across California and is designed to provide more reading and literacy interventions for students. Project ARISE will focus on meeting faltering scholars where they are, with innovative reading aids to ensure learners are properly equipped to become more confident readers. Partner universities will bring in-depth expertise in screening strategies, tools to identify student needs and early detection of dyslexia in children.

Project ARISE was designed to provide reading and writing support to a wide range of learners, including English learners, students with disabilities and students with dyslexia. This includes three district school boards Project ARISE and are intentionally and uniquely located in Central, Southern, and Northern California; serves primarily suburban, urban and rural communities. The project will set up regional professional learning networks to help districts build capacity around the continuous improvement process of literacy. Oversight of the program is managed by the CDE and the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence (CCEE).

The funding for Project ARISE is a result of Assembly Bill 130, Section 145 (2021 Constitution) of the Education Omnibus Trailer Bill. According to the CDE, the selected grantee must be successful at “To develop and deliver professional learning for public school educators serving K-12 students to strengthen reading instruction for all students and in a manner consistent with that National support system and the California Comprehensive State Literacy Plan.

About the Contra Costa County Board of Education

Contra Costa County, one of 58 counties in the state of California, has the ninth largest public school student population in the state (approximately 178,000 students). Officially established in 1932, the CCCOE has long provided direct services to some of our county’s most vulnerable students, including young people who are incarcerated, homeless or in foster care, and students with severe physical or emotional challenges.

CCCOE also provides support services for schools and school districts in Contra Costa County; Services that can be most effectively and economically handled on a regional basis rather than by each of the county’s 285 schools or 18 school districts. These services range from budget approval and fiscal support to technology infrastructure, communications support and high-level professional development opportunities for educators. CCCOE maintains a website at