Only 46% of Sonoma County third graders read at or above grade level. The Sonoma’s Harvest Wine Auction “Fund the Future” lot raised money for three charities with a proven track record of improving literacy rates: the Sonoma Valley Education Foundation, the United Way of the Wine Country’s Schools of Hope and Pasitos (Little Steps in Spanish). The wine auction is making a three year commitment to this effort. They want to make a big difference in literacy rates. Students who are proficient in reading by third grade are more likely to graduate from high school and find jobs. Two thirds of students who are not literate by the fourth grade will spend time behind bars.
The United Way’s Schools of Hope program trains volunteer tutors to work one one with struggling first and second graders. In 2012, third grade reading proficiency increased 3% across all Sonoma County schools, but at the Schools of Hope schools the rate was 7%. Last year Schools of Hope helped 500 students become better readers. This year they would like to increase the number of volunteers to 800. You can find out more about the program here.
The Sonoma Valley Education Foundation plans to grow their summer reading academy which served almost 100 third graders for three weeks this past June to include first and second graders.
Pasitos, a program of the Community Action Partnership of Sonoma County is focused on English language learners, specifically 3 to 4 year olds who do not attend preschool and their parents.
You can read more about the Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction’s “Fund the Future” program at Sonoma News.