PLEASANT HILL, Calif.—Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE) has been awarded a $9.8 million grant by the California Department of Education (CDE) to become the lead agency responsible for providing professional development opportunities to K-12 public school educators in California to strengthen reading instruction for all students in the state.
CCCOE will team up with seven partners to share professional development opportunities and work with schools, educators, and districts in meeting the state’s critical goal: every child 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. 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. This is a huge honor and ultimately a win for students.”
The new effort, titled Project ARISE (Accelerating Reading Intervention for Systemic Excellence), will feature partnerships between CCCOE and San Diego County Office of Education; Glenn County Office 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 teamed approach will support student acceleration of literacy learning and evidence-based professional learning to administrators, teachers, and paraeducators in the areas of reading interventions.
“Our goal is to develop a statewide network of trained educators who will share and carry these practices forward in their careers,” Nicolas Zefeldt, Director of Curriculum & Instruction at CCCOE, said. “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.”
CCCOE will leverage best practices learned and relationships built through the Comprehensive Literacy State Development (CLSD) Grant, allowing the agency to further expand statewide literacy support in a larger scope of work and geographic area compared to the CLSD Grant. Project ARISE will support more educators throughout California and is designed to provide more reading and literacy interventions to students. Project ARISE will focus on meeting struggling scholars where they are with innovative reading reinforcements, ensuring learners are properly equipped to become more confident readers. Partner institutions of higher education will bring deep expertise related to screening strategies, tools to identify student needs, and early detection of dyslexia in children.
Project ARISE is designed to bring literacy support to a diverse array of learners, including English learner students, students with disabilities, and students with dyslexia. Three County Offices of Education are part of Project ARISE and are intentionally and distinctly situated in central, southern, and northern California; serving primarily suburban, urban, and rural communities. The project will establish regional Professional Learning Networks to help districts build capacity around the continuous literacy improvement process. Oversight of the program is administered by the CDE and the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence (CCEE).
The grant funding for Project ARISE is a result of Assembly Bill 130, Section 145 (Statutes of 2021) of the Education Omnibus Trailer Bill. According to CDE, the selected grantee must be successful at “developing and providing professional learning to educators in public schools serving K–12 students, to strengthen reading instruction for all pupils and in a manner that aligns with the Statewide System of Support and the California Comprehensive State Literacy Plan.”
About Contra Costa County Office of Education
One of 58 counties in the state of California, Contra Costa County has the 9th largest public-school student population in the state (approximately 178,000 students). Officially established in 1932, the CCCOE has a long history of providing direct services to some of our county’s most vulnerable students, including young people who are incarcerated, homeless, or in foster care, as well as students who have severe physical or emotional challenges.
CCCOE also provides support services to schools and school districts in Contra Costa County; services that can be handled most effectively and economically 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, communication support, and high-level professional development opportunities for educators. CCCOE maintains a website at www.cocoschools.org.