The Colusa County Office of Education announced on Monday that the department has been awarded the “Innovative Approaches to Literacy” grant totaling $2.25 million dollars, which will be dispersed over three years by the U.S. Department of Education.
According to a press release issued by the CCOE, this grant has boosted the entire literacy outreach to Colusa County students – which provides programming for children ages two to seven years old – to a level far beyond its five-year plan.
“What an opportunity for our Preschool through second grade students to have access to all forms of electronic media as well as books to take home to share and books to own.” said Michael P. West, Colusa County Superintendent of Schools. “Parents will continually have opportunities to read with their children through the Footsteps2Brilliance app and enjoy the tactile experience of holding and reading a book that their child selected.”
According to a press release, the Colusa County Office of Education will partner with its 13 preschools, three K-3 schools and six local libraries to provide early learners with access to cutting-edge print and digital literacy programming, e-books, and interactive activities.
“This project will provide greater access to educational programs across our rural schools and expand professional development opportunities for our early childhood educators by utilizing technology, specifically Footsteps2Brilliance and distance learning programs,” read the release.
This Colusa County Footsteps2Brilliance Innovative Approaches to Literacy grant supports CCOE’s “And Literacy for All” Initiative. This initiative was created as a countywide literacy project to promote bilingual reading and writing skills to all Colusa County residents using mobile technology. The primary goal is to have all children reading at or above grade level by the end of third grade.
“Being able to affect the reading and literacy opportunities of all Colusa County Children is a dream come true for the Colusa County Office of Education,” said West. ”This grant was a four-year long team effort by so many CCOE staff and their dedication demonstrates their focus to improve literacy throughout Colusa County. Our children deserve nothing short of this effort to allow them to succeed during their journey through K-12 education and developing into productive citizens of our society.”
For their unwavering support of the CCOE initiative as well as “And Literacy for All,” the Colusa County Office of Education thanked Senator Jim Nielson, Assemblyman James Gallagher, Colusa County Librarian Stacey Zwald Costello, Chair of First Five Colusa Bonnie Davies, Superintendents Dr. Edgar Lampkin of Williams Unified School District, Zach Thurman of Maxwell Unified School District and Dwayne Newman of Colusa Unified School District and Greg Spencer of Footsteps2Brilliance in the release.