TAHOE/TRUCKEE - Thanks to a generous grant from the S. H. Cowell Foundation the Tahoe Truckee Reads coalition was able to hire a coordinator, Kerry Eastman Stendell. Kerry joined the Tahoe Truckee Reads team to assist the implementation of the award-winning plan to improve grade level reading in our community.
Kerry brings more than 10 years of experience in community collaboration and capacity building with nonprofit organizations. Prior to moving to Truckee in 2008, Kerry was a project manager with StopWaste.org in Alameda County where she coordinated school and public education programs. In recognition of her strengths and experience in collaborations and public education, Kerry was invited to participate in a statewide advisory conference to CA Fish and Game.
Kerry has a passion for education, literacy, and the outdoors, which shines through in her volunteer work. As a volunteer in the community, Kerry serves as Director of KidZone Museum's Family Camp, Coordinator of the North Tahoe Environmental Education Coalition, and past-President and newsletter editor for the Glenshire Elementary PTO. She has also been a literacy tutor at public libraries and a volunteer for youth literacy projects in the Bay Area.
"Reading is such a joy. The children in our community deserve to be confident and proficient readers and achieve school success," stated Kerry. "I'm thrilled to be a part of our community's collaborative efforts to improve grade-level reading."
Tahoe Truckee Reads has designed a strong plan for attaining third grade reading proficiency, a pivotal educational milestone. Extensive research has demonstrated that focusing on school readiness, school attendance, and avoiding summer learning loss significantly improves success in reading, especially for low-income students who are most at risk for low reading skills.
Interestingly, these strategies focus on community based solutions allowing our community coalition to make a difference outside of the work happening within the school day. Currently the coalition's steering committee is concentrating on the school district's attendance data and exploring school readiness initiatives. One of the first priorities Kerry will address is recruiting volunteers to bolster one-on-one reading programs with pre-school age children and emergent readers.
Several of our community service groups already participate in literacy programs and the Tahoe Truckee Reads plan proposes expanding these outreach efforts regionally.
Tahoe Truckee Reads is a coalition of partners committed to improving the reading success of Tahoe Truckee youth. In the fall of 2011, the National Civic League released the parameters for the 2012 All America City award, which focused on developing a community plan for achieving third grade reading proficiency.
Third grade reading is critical to long-term student achievement because third grade is when the focus shifts from learning to read to reading to learn. In response to the compelling plea for communities to address this critical issue, Excellence in Education Foundation, Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation, Tahoe Truckee Unified School District and the Community Collaborative of Tahoe Truckee sat down together to begin building a local coalition.
Placer and Nevada County staff quickly joined this group, as well as First Five staff from both counties and many interested community members, educators and parents. The group formally became "Tahoe Truckee Reads."
Along with 124 other cities, we submitted a literacy plan to the National Civic League's competition. Tahoe Truckee was one of 14 communities selected nationwide for the 2012 All America City award.