Forum focuses on importance of early literacy
Record Net: 9.10.2015 by Almendra Carpizo
The average home in San Joaquin County only has two books.
That is “startling” information University of the Pacific President Pamela A. Eibeck recently learned, she told about 175 people gathered Thursday for the annual Beyond Our Gates Dialogue event.
The forum, which is attended by educators, elected officials, nonprofit organizations and business leaders, was focused on the importance of early literacy, cultivating community partnerships to help students succeed and encouraging parents to engage their children and ensure that they attend school.
San Joaquin County Office of Education Superintendent James Mousalimas said at the start of the program that if the community wants to make progress in student achievement, literacy has to start before kindergarten.
“A rule of thumb we heard is that if a child is able to read by the end of third grade, they will have the tools to read and learn as they go forward,” Eibeck said.
According to a 2014 San Joaquin Literacy Report Card, only 34 percent of 3- and 4-year-olds are enrolled in preschool. The percentage dropped from 46 percent in 2011. Statewide, enrollment is at 50 percent, according to the report.
“How can we make sure a young child arrives in school ready to learn and by the third grade is able to read?” Eibeck asked.
Featured speaker Greg Lucas, who was appointed state librarian by Gov. Jerry Brown in March 2014, opened by saying that “the most cost-effective investment of taxpayer money is in helping people to read or read better.”
It keeps people out of prison, it helps them obtain better jobs and, he added, “if I’m a mommy, the No. 1 indicator of my kids’ academic success is my literacy rate.” READ MORE !