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Thank you for attending the 2016 Literacy Symposium: 
Please share the excitement
with your community! 

Total attendance: 175 community members helping design the future solutions to improve literacy in Del Norte & Adjacent Tribal Lands! See photos from the event. Video coming soon!

The big goal: Ensure that by 2023, every child in Del Norte & Adjacent Tribal Lands will be able to read at grade-level by third grade (according to the latest data, only about 50 percent of current Del Norte third graders are currently reading at a third grade level.)

Key insights: Read the Executive Summary. Read the full Del Norte & Adjacent Tribal Lands Literacy Project report for the full insights from families and educators.

Lets move the dial: Key indicators and goals to help our community move toward our goal of literacy for all.

Recap of the night
Keynote speeches were delivered by Kevin Hartwick (of the School Systems Implementation Team and Wild Rivers Community Foundation Board), First 5 Commissioners David Finigan and Athena Csutoras, and Superintendent of Schools Jeff Harris. 

Information from the recent empathy interviews and literacy research, as well as key indicators (statistics) in our community that should be improved were shared by the Core Design Team. The audience then engaged in a facilitated brainstorming exercise to consider the various insights learned from the research and envision a better future state for children, parents and educators. Ideas were also generated to get our community to that future state.  

At the closing of the event, the speakers and audience re-affirmed the goal that "Every child in Del Norte & Adjacent Tribal Lands will be able to read at grade-level by third grade."

Attendees filled out commitment cards about the individual and organizational impacts they can have. The commitment cards will be mailed back to them at a later date. All the thoughts and ideas generated at the symposium were considered by the Core Design Team, which commenced Phase 2 of the Literacy Project on Wednesday, June 8.

Big announcements

At the closing of the event, there were several announcements.
  • Superintendent Jeff Harris discussed the long-awaited quality internet coming soon to the elementary school in Klamath, as well as the Footsteps to Brilliance program that will be available to all Del Norte residents as an electronic app to assist with reading skills. 
  • California Endowment Program Manager Geneva Wiki highlighted several creative collaborations in the community to support literacy and community health and to remove family barriers to literacy, such as a scholarship from the Del Norte Health Care District that helps fund Little School of the Redwoods tuition for two health care employees' children each year. Wiki also announced that Building Healthy Communities has committed $50,000 to the Phase 2 of the local literacy work.
  • The Wonder Bus received a $17,500 grant from Wild Rivers Community Foundation, the Gil and Ann Hess Fund, Patricia D. and William B. Smullin Foundation, All Children Read & Succeed Fund and The California Endowment. The gift was received by Angela Glore and Melody Fugate, Executive Directors of First 5 and Del Norte Childcare Council.

On the spot commitments

Here are some examples of how participants completed the phrase, "I can make a difference! I plan to commit myself to the cause of community literacy in the following ways ..."

  • "Commit to read to children regularly -- which means discovering opportunities where children need to be read to, or be available to let a child read to me."
  • "Provide avenues of communication between parents, early educators, and children and encourage frequent and regular use."
  • "To do my part as a teacher to encourage reading, and parent involvement with their children (and in the class)."
  • "To provide a place where providers and parents can meet and greet monthly."
  • "Create mini children's libraries."
  • "By providing intervention support in the after school program to help improve the reading of those students who are not on grade level."
  • "Model positive parenting in the community and with my children."
  • "Engage with every child I see."
  • "By helping parents gain confidence that they can help their children be literate."
  • "Opening my classroom to community leaders that would like to observe/participate."
  • "Communicate with parents and help demystify 'literacy.'"
  • "I will continue to reach out to parents to provide practical ways to promote literacy with their children."

How is the work continuing?:
The Core Design Team jumped straight into Literacy Phase 2 the morning after the symposium. The team spent the day considering all the experiences and ideas generated at each table and mapped out one complete future experience map for children from 0 to 9 years old (every single post-it-note was transferred onto this 26-foot-long map!)
Last Thursday, a number of educational system leaders were involved in a facilitated systems-mapping session, considering the opportunities, barriers and resources required to achieve ‘3 read by 23’.
The next step has been taking the key insights and ideas out to some of the families who were involved in the empathy research.  These families discussed what a new literacy future could look like for them, provided feedback on some of the ideas generated at the symposium and also put their own ideas forward.  Their feedback and ideas has been invaluable.
This week the Core Design Team is finalizing the new future experience map that will be shared with you all over the coming weeks.  They are also refining some of the key ideas that have emerged that will help achieve this future experience and are coming up with a roadmap for taking these ideas, and ongoing engagement with families and educators, forward.  We look forward to sharing this with you. See more photos from Phase 2.


The reviews
Thank you for filling out feedback forms at the event. We heard you! We will use your evaluations to improve future work and events. Here are some selected quotes about what participants appreciated about the Literacy Symposium.

  • "I learned a lot and felt needed in our community."
  • "Felt moved. Will stay interested."
  • "Having a variety of people and organizations in the room was beneficial."
  • "We have so many bright people with solutions!"
  • "Discussing solutions - Every walk of life working together and talking is wonderful."
  • "The brainstorming: We came up with ideas that were good and doable."
  • "Community bonding."
  • "Collaboration and communication. 'It takes a village.'"
  • "Exchanging ideas with others at my table group. It was exciting to see the common ideas and concerns."
  • "I feel it's critical to explore the idea of literacy and that it is so much more than reading."
  • "It was a very rewarding and enlightening event."

Who did we miss? 
Who else needs to be connected to this work? Did you notice someone missing at the Literacy Symposium event? Let us know and we will add them to our literacy work email list.

Want a poster?
Would you like a copy of one of the 2016 Literacy Symposium posters to share in your office or classroom? Contact Nancy Raskauskas-Coons and she can send you a printed version while supplies last or a PDF that you can print and share.

Who was there?

  • Alexandre EcoDairy Farms
  • AmeriCorps Vista
  • Alcohol and Other Drug Programs (AOD)
  • Assemblyman Jim Wood and Staff
  • Barefoot Books Ambassador
  • Bess Maxwell Elementary
  • Bess Maxwell Elementary SPED
  • Board of Supervisors
  • Building Healthy Communities - Del Norte & Adjacent Tribal Lands
  • California Center for Rural Policy (CCRP)
  • California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (PBSP)
  • City of Crescent City
  • Cholwell Benz & Hartwick CPAs
  • College of the Redwoods
  • Concerned community members
  • Daycare providers and owner/operators
  • Del Norte Ambulance
  • Del Norte Child Care Council
  • Del Norte County
  • DNCCC Board of Directors
  • Del Norte Community Health Center
  • Del Norte County Library
  • Del Norte County Office of Education
  • Del Norte County Unified School District
  • Del Norte Probation
  • Del Norte Reads
  • DNCUSD Title VII (American Indian Education)
  • Del Norte Library Foundation
  • Department of Health & Human Services
  • Edward Jones
  • Elk Valley Rancheria
  • Elk Valley Rancheria Head Start
  • Elk Valley Council
  • Family Resource Center
  • First 5
  • Foster parents
  • Foursquare Church
  • Foursquare Christian School and Preschool
  • Friends of Del Norte Library
  • Health & Human Services - Child Welfare
  • Howonquet Early Learning Program/Howonquet Headstart
  • Joe Hamilton Preschool & Kindergarten
  • Kindergarten teacher
  • Learning Planning Council & State Preschools
  • Little School of the Redwoods
  • Little Sunshine Family Daycare
  • Margaret Keating School
  • Mary Peacock School
  • Mary Peacock Latchkey
  • Minority Outreach Network
  • Northcoast Children's Services
  • Open Door Clinic
  • Opportunity Youth Initiative 
  • Pelican Bay State Prison
  • Philanthropist
  • Preschool parents
  • Redwood School
  • Redwood Voice 
  • Rural Human Services
  • Sami's Family Child Care
  • Site council parents
  • Smith River School
  • State Preschool
  • Sunset Early Head Start
  • Sutter Coast Hospital
  • Teachers
  • The California Endowment
  • Tolowa Dee-ni Nation
  • Tribal Education 
  • True North Organizing Network
  • Wild Rivers Community Foundation
  • Yurok Tribe
  • Yurok Tribe Education JOM Program
  • Yurok Tribe Head Start - Klamath site
  • Yurok Tribe - Tribal Court - Social Services

Why are we doing this?

Selected answers from participants to the question 'Why is childhood literacy important to you?'
  • "Because my life would be less interesting without books!"
  • "It enables them to read and think critically, make better choices, prepare them to live improved lives. They are our future ..."
  • "Because they are the future."
  • "Knowledge and better spelling."
  • "It helps young people learn to read and spell while they are young."
  • "Because unemployable adults cost society money."
  • "For the future."
  • "It is the foundation of education, which is also the foundation of the economy and community health."
  • "Children who are listened to, and who listen, become children with powerful voices in adulthood."
  • "To be successful in life! (Read: job applications, news, communicate needs)
  • "As they are the future I want to see the country excel. Reading is just the beginning."
  • "Ignorance is the folly of mankind. To improperly educate our future is sheer foolishness."
  • "Starting early will give children a better advantage."
  • "I'm going to be a mom soon. I love reading and want to pass that on."
  • "Empowerment."
  • "It starts a conversation between child and parent."
  • "Youth falling behind early, contribute to our cycle of negativity."
  • "Makes people more healthy in every aspect."
  • "Because it opens up opportunities to the children and their families."
  • "Because literacy opens a child's world to learning more than any other subject."
  • "Books and reading builds confidence, knowledge and bridges gaps along the way."
  • "It is the basics for all learning and life!"
  • "I want my future children to grow up in an environment where they are set up for success."
  • "Future success."
  • "It's the law. Children are our future."
  • "Childhood is the crucial bread and butter of all successful and vibrant communities."
  • "To be a successful adult, you need to be literate."
  • "It's important for each child's future opportunities in life."
  • "It's important to keep children's imagination open and their love of learning."
  • "It is the foundation for future learning."
  • "It is the key to life survival and success."
  • "Studies show that children who are read to do better in school."
  • "We need educated adults. It starts in childhood."
  • "Providing a strong base is essential for all learning."
  • "To build a better workforce."
  • "Because it is a building block for success."
  • "For every reason: Better comprehension; self-confidence; self-expression; healthy imagination; time reading with parents=closer bonds; and life-long love of learning."
  • "Because readers become leaders."
  • "It is a building foundation for all subjects, academic and social."
  • "Help children succeed in adult life."
  • "Our future lawmakers, medical, public safety and voters."
  • "Quality time for children and parents."
  • "I find creativity and self-esteem very important to literacy. I think it's important not to rush literacy before kids are ready."
  • "Learning about life."
  • "There is so much to learn through reading all throughout their life."
  • "Reading is the foundation for all learning."
  • "It is a key indicator to future success of the individual and community."
  • "It creates a love of learning and opens up the mind for creativity and information."

Core Design Team

The core design team includes: 

  • Melodee Fugate, Executive Director, Del Norte Child Care Council
  • Angela Glore, Executive Director, First 5 Del Norte
  • Doreen Wells, Early Education & Development Director, DNCUSD
  • Connie Gilman, Curriculum Coordinator, DNCUSD
  • Susan Presba-Morris, Instructional Coach, DNCUSD
  • Delfie Danner, Former Family Lifeways Coordinator, Howonquet Head Start
Copyright © 2016 BHC Del Norte County and Adjacent Tribal Lands, All rights reserved.

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