Literacy: 3Read23

Literacy has a profound effect on the health and wellness of children and adults. In 2011, about 66% of children entering kindergarten in DNATL did not have the skills they needed to succeed by third grade, and 50% could not read at the appropriate grade level. A coalition of families, educators, early child care providers, local business owners, and agencies came together and made a commitment to ensure that all children in Del Norte and Tribal Lands would have the skills they need to be ready for kindergarten and read at grade level by third grade. The DNATL BHC Literacy Initiative is a community-wide effort to increase access to quality preschool, improve kindergarten readiness, and increase literacy rates among third graders.

The School System Implementation Team builds a healthier DNATL through a strategic partnership with a shared commitment to guarantee that all students are contributing community members prepared for college and careers. The team educates students and parents about educational achievement and school health outcomes, and ensures community voices are heard in district decision-making.

Tangible Wins and Benefits: 

  • Professional development for preschool teachers allowed them to shift from seeing themselves as babysitters to seeing themselves as part of a continuum of educators.
  • Del Norte Unified School District adopted an “un-homework” policy, allowing schools and teachers the flexibility to design family-centered options to reduce stress for students and improve student achievement.
  • The DNATL community adopted a holistic approach to early literacy that included the family, the schools, and the community at large. Embracing the idea that literacy is anywhere and everywhere, books began to show up in grocery stores, the bowling alley, restaurants, and healthcare providers had childrens books when they came in for health child visits.
BHC Case Study Cover
BHC Literacy Brief
BHC Literacy Slides