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District’s Literacy Initiative Is A Finalist for State Award

Every Child a Reader by 3rd Grade Shows Success Across All CUSD Schools

young boy smiling up at camera as he sits on the floor with a book

Evidence of success with improving outcomes for students who struggle most with literacy has made the district’s Every Child a Reader by Grade 3 (ECaR3) initiative a finalist for the Golden Bell Award. The award, given by the California School Boards Association (CSBA), recognizes outstanding programs and governance practices in school districts throughout California. 

“ECaR3 initiative provides promise to students who have persistent literacy gaps,” said Dr. Shelly Viramontez, CUSD Superintendent. “We provide teachers with a research-based, coherent curriculum that arms them with tools and training to confidently meet the needs of ALL learners.”

District educators were facing the reality that certain student groups (English learners, students with disabilities, those from low socioeconomic households) were not experiencing reading success within the district’s system. That fact led the district to engage in a full system reading transformation, according to Whitney Holton, Associate Superintendent of Teaching & Learning.  

“We launched our Every Child a Reader by 3rd Grade (ECaR3) initiative to transparently address inequities and increase educational outcomes for all,” she said. “Data from our work shows that ECaR3 is empowering teachers and raising literacy levels and achievement not only for English learners and students with disabilities but for all students. Data demonstrates evidence of growth for advanced learners that is exceeding statewide trends.”