California Tackles Illiteracy Rate with Inauguration of Read Across CA Month in March

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This March marks the inaugural launch of Read Across California Month. The annual campaign is a result of Assembly Concurrent Resolution No. 62 (ACR 62) and will commence on March 2nd, in order to coincide with the National Education Association’s Read Across America Day.

Celebrate Read Across California in March

Read Across California in March

I was proud to author this resolution because it encourages private and public partnerships to raise awareness of the importance of literacy.

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Assembly Member Julia Brownley will Kick-off "Read Across California" month on Friday, March 2, 2012 at 4:30P at the Santa Monica Boys and Girls Club, 1238 Lincoln Blvd. The kick-off coincides with National Education Association’s “Read Across America” Day. Brownley says “I was proud to author this resolution because it encourages private and public partnerships to raise awareness of the importance of literacy. Californians will read with the rest of America on March 2nd, and they will continue reading for the rest of the month. By taking the pledge to read 30 Minutes for 30 Days, Californians will increase their literacy skills while fostering a love of reading.” Derek Kent, author of the young adult book, "Scary School" will join in the kick-off activities. 
Specifically, the purpose of ACR 62 is aimed at reversing California’s illiteracy rate after recent comparisons to national literacy rates. According to the Nation’s Report Card, in California, fifty four percent of grade four pupils and sixty four percent of grade eight pupils tested in early 2009 scored at or above the basic reading level. However, this is below the national average of sixty six percent of all grade four pupils and seventy four percent of all grade eight pupils. In addition, 2010 Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) Program for the California Standards Tests reported that only fifty two percent of pupils grades two to eleven, inclusive, were proficient in English-Language Arts.
Efforts to enact the resolution are outlined as follows:
To encourage private and public sector organizations and agencies to participate by showing pupils that their academic success and literacy level is important to the economy, stability, and prosperity of the State of California.
To encourage stake holders to raise awareness of the importance of literacy by reading to children, while also encouraging students to read independently.
To foster a love for reading and encourage young people and citizens in our State to explore the exciting wonders of the world through books by reading thirty minutes a day for thirty days.    
A website has been launched to serve as the hub of the awareness campaign. The website will post special reading events, promote literacy pledges and provide detailed information on organizations partnering to raise awareness on the issue of illiteracy. Visit http://www.readacrossca.org to learn more.

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ACR 62 was Introduced by Assembly Member Brownley and passed on May 23rd, 2011. Coauthors of the resolution include Assembly Members: Butler, Feuer, Achadjian, Alejo, Allen, Beall, Block, Blumenfield, Bonilla, Buchanan, Charles Calderon, Campos, Carter, Chesbro, Conway, Cook, Davis, Dickinson, Donnelly, Eng, Fong, Fuentes, Beth Gaines, Galgiani, Gatto, Gordon, Hagman, Halderman, Hayashi, Roger Hernández, Hill, Huber, Hueso, Jeffries, Jones, Mansoor, Mitchell, Monning, Morrell, Nestande, Olsen, Pan, John A. Pérez, Portantino, Silva, Skinner, Solorio, Swanson, Torres, Wagner, Wieckowski, Williams, and Yamada; Senators: Lieu, Liu, and Pavley.
Chaptered legislation of ACR 62 was sponsored by the Junior League of Los Angeles, Inc.
The following organizations supported the chaptered legislation, ACR 62: California Association of Private School Organizations, California Library Association, California School Boards Association, California State University, California Teachers Association, First 5 Association of California, First 5 LA, Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, Jewish Vocational Service, Junior Leagues of California State Public Affairs Committee, Junior League of San Francisco, Inc., National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners - Los Angeles Chapter, Reach Out and Read Los Angeles County Coalition, University of California, California Parent Teacher Associations, Stacy Aldrich, State Librarian, American Academy of Pediatrics.
The website was sponsored and developed by Be There Bedtime Stories, a strategic technology partner of the campaign.
For more information, visit http://www.readacrossca.org or engage on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @readacrossca.

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September Hill

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