Initiative 1 - Ensuring Strong Third Grade Readers

  • Literacy by third grade is the most important predictor of high school graduation. The ability to read by third grade is critical to a student’s ability to access content that is necessary for K-16 success. There is nothing more fundamental. At the end of third grade, students are shifting from learning to read to reading to learn so that they can gain the knowledge, skills, and dispositions they will need for college, career, and community success. 


    To make this guarantee, we will all work together. As a city, our lives are interconnected: our city’s wellness, enterprise, and infrastructure are intertwined. For any person, child or adult, to be unable to read is not an individual problem — it is a community problem. We cannot approach literacy development as something that solely occurs between one teacher and one student. The wealth of resources the City of Oakland can offer, including well trained mentors and expanded learning opportunities, need to be mobilized for the effort.


    The community has already stepped up: leaders throughout our city have “beat this drum,” and we must all respond by working to ensure our efforts are integrated and impactful. With our collective effort, we can indeed make the promise of literacy for every third grader in Oakland.

Initiative 1 Working Group

  • Working Group Co-Chairs

    Wesley Jacques, OUSD


    Lakisha Young, The Oakland REACH


    Working Group Participants

    • Dana Cilono, Cares for Learning
    • David Silver, Director of Education, City of Oakland
    • Dulce Torres-Petty, Senior Program Officer, Oakland Promise
    • Faustena Byrd-Linarez, 1st Grade Teacher, Carl Munck Elementary
    • Gilberto Parada, Dual Language Teacher/Coach, Bridges Academy
    • Gloria Lee, Educate78,
    • Heather Palin, Principal, Emerson Elementary
    • Hector Salazar, Reading Partners
    • Jacqueline Perl, Oakland Thrives Education Impact
    • Jerome Gourdine, OUSD
    • Jessica Ramos, Student Board Director, OUSD
    • Jose Corona, Eat, Learn, Play
    • Kareem Weaver, NAACP
    • Kimi Kean, Parents in Action
    • Lawanda Wesley, OUSD
    • Michael De Sousa, The Oakland REACH
    • Nikki Williams, Principal, Howard Elementary
    • Priya Jagannathan, Oakland Starting Smart and Strong
    • Romy Trigg-Smith, OUSD
    • Sanam Jorjani, Oakland Literacy Coalition
    • Shaheena Kahn, Rainin Foundation
    • Shay Simmons, Kindergarten Teacher, MPA Primary
    • Tammie Adams, Principal, Horace Mann Elementary
    • Tontra Love, TK Teacher, Sequoia Elementary

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Working Group Notes