May 2024

General Meeting

Implementing Reading Instruction Aligned to the Science of Reading

Agenda Highlights

On May 6, 2024, the Oakland Literacy Coalition and National Center on Improving Literacy hosted a virtual session presented by Judith L. Fontana, Ph.D. The session provided tools for participants to improve their ability to translate their knowledge of research grounded in the Science of Reading into evidence-based instructional practices.


  • Refresher
  • Research to practice: ies Practice Guide
    Foundational Reading Skills to Support Reading with Understanding Kindergarten through Third Grade
  • What to teach and How to teach it: Examples or demonstrations inserted as addressed by the IES guide.

Watch Session Here!

Download the Slides: Implementing Rdg. Inst Aligned with SoR Final

National Center on Improving Literacy 

Twitter: @NCILiteracy

Oakland Literacy Coalition
Twitter: @oaklandreads
FB: @oaklitcoalition
IG: @oaklitcoalition

January 2024

General Meeting

Understanding Outcomes of the “Right to Read” Settlement

Agenda Highlights

Our January 17, 2024 virtual forum featured Sarah Novicoff, lead author of the working paper The Achievement Effects of Scaling Early Literacy Reforms. She and her co-researcher looked at the 75 schools receiving the Early Literacy Support Block Grant (ELSBG), which provided teacher professional development, new funding (about $1000 per student), spending flexibility within specified guidelines, and expert facilitation and oversight of school-based planning. They found that ELSBG substantially improved the reading performance of targeted students and had positive spillover effects on performance in math as well.

One big takeaway was that the science of reading will succeed if implemented within a supportive policy infrastructure and environment. That includes funding, support for schools and teachers, supporting teacher learning aligned to the curriculum, and autonomy to meet the unique needs of each school. 

Watch the presentation:

You can find some slides from the presentation here.

The Block Grant that was established in response to the lawsuit Ella T. vs. the State of California created an environment for implementation that went far beyond teacher training or curricular purchases. In addition to those components, ELSBG allocated about $1,000 per student and allowed principals broad autonomy to choose the expenditures that would best help their students. Principals also consulted with the state-designated Expert Lead in Literacy to design these action plans and budgets.

Read more about the research findings and policy implications in this article by Sarah Novicoff on the Brookings website:

California initiative offers blueprint to implement the science of reading

June 2023

General Meeting

Agenda Highlights

On June 6, 2023, the Oakland Literacy Coalition hosted a virtual roundtable bringing in three different voices and perspectives in the Oakland literacy landscape. Romy Trigg-Smith, Director of Early Literacy PK-2 at Oakland Unified School District; Jasmin Tow Director of Early Literacy at Education for Change Public Schools; and Erin Cox, Early Learning Program Manager at Aspire Public schools, shared how their respective organizations have shifted to using strong curricula that support both top and bottom strands of the reading rope.

Watch Panel Discussion Here!

The speakers covered four main topics:
1. Curriculum
2. Teacher support
3. Assessments
4. Tiered support 

Download slides: June Virtual Literacy Round Table

Keep up with the featured panelists by following the links below!

April 2022

General Meeting

Agenda Highlights

On April 20, 2022, the Oakland Literacy Coalition hosted our Quarterly Forum where we were in conversation with Oakland Unified School District educators, literacy leaders and principals about their experience implementing new literacy curriculum and strategies for improving reading outcomes.

Watch Panel Discussion Here!

This 1.5 hour panel discussion featured Nikki Williams – Principal, Oakland Academy of Knowledge, Sara Farmer – ELA Instructional Coach, Garfield Elementary, Edgar Rodriguez-Ramirez – Principal, Garfield Elementary and was moderated by OLC’s Associate Director of Community Engagement, Exequiel “Rex” Ganding III.

Keep up with the featured panelist by following the links below!

Oakland Academy of Knowledge
IG: @oaklandacademyofknowledge

Garfield Elementary
IG: @garfieldelementaryoakland

Oakland Literacy Coalition
Twitter: @oaklandreads
FB: @oaklitcoalition
IG: @oaklitcoalition

February 2022

General Meeting

Agenda Highlights

On February 16, 2022, the Oakland Literacy Coalition was pleased to have Dr. Sabrina “Bri” Moore led our first IN TRAINING session “Building Liberatory Learning Spaces.” This workshop expands on her previous OLC Symposium session ‘Intervention Is Racist’. This workshop is especially important for educators, community organizers and designers of learning spaces looking for support and encouragement in developing liberatory learning spaces that are inclusive, equitable and anti-racist.

Resources and Links:

About Dr. Sabrina “Bri” Moore

Dr. Sabrina “Bri” Moore is the founder and director of 3Ls: Literacy, Leadership and Liberation. An Oakland based organization changing literacy outcomes “One Neighborhood at a time.” She is a former teacher, principal and now Program Director of Systemic Instructional Review in Oakland California working in tandem for both the State CCEE and Alameda County offices of Education in support of the Oakland Unified School District.

When asked about who she is, Dr. Bri said,

“Only after an MBA and Doctorate can I now laugh about the words, stereotypes, and statistics thrown at me in school [such as] ‘stupid Black girl; you’re not smart enough!; You can’t read.’ I knew that I didn’t want any kid to have that experience. To hear what I heard, feel what I felt, or believe what I had learned to believe. Fast forward through teaching, principalship and a few other titles and the birth of 3Ls was inevitable. Fate! I founded 3Ls in 2014 to improve literacy rates by leveraging liberatory practices in the community, to listen, respond, identify and interrupt the ways in which reading was being done or not done for our kids. It took shape one neighborhood at a time.”

Keep up with Dr. Bri by following the links below:

  • FB:@3lstheacademy
  • IG: @3lstheacademy

January 2022

General Meeting

Agenda Highlights

Earlier this month on January 19th, the Oakland Literacy Coalition was honored to have Tyson Amir lead a powerful presentation for our Winter Forum and our first In Conversation Series for 2022. In the seminar presentation, titled “Black Minds and the History of Education,”Tyson Amir explored the history of U.S education and its impact on Black and Indigenous folks in the Bay Area and across the country.

Watch the full presentation here!

What are the stereotypes about Black students and Black youth? Where did they come from??? And what purpose do they serve??? These are the questions Tyson led with as he began the unveiling of the origins of U.S Education. 

When having conversations about the inequities and injustices that many Black, Brown and Indigenous students face within the education system, we have to have a clear understanding on where it all originated from. When it comes to the beginnings of what we know to be the education and schooling system here in the U.S, the intention was, politically, socially, economically, legislatively, and culturally focused on barring Black folks from access to education. This is evident in the slew of anti-literacy laws passed between 1740 – 1865 and further confirmed by anti-Black and discriminatory beliefs held by many of the this country’s founding leaders. 

Taking us on a journey from the early 1600s to the present, Tyson gives a thorough mapping of the history of U.S education, connects the Black experience with Indigenous struggles, and urges us to reflect on our own perceptions and beliefs and how that shapes the youth who we are in community with.

Resources and Links:

About Tyson
Born and bred in the Bay Area is the creative, Tyson Amir. He is a rapper blessed with a poignant message, electrifying cadence, enlightening lyrics and it all combines to form a music with enough heart and soul to move a generation. Tyson is also a poet, emcee, educator, author, activist but if you ask him he’ll say he’s “a freedom fighter”. His fight is born out of love for humanity, justice and peace for all. Each one of these layers are intricately woven into his praxis and practice. He is the author of “Black Boy Poems” and creator of the Black Boy Poems curriculum. He is also the founder of Freedom Soul Media Education Initiatives. 

Keep up with Tyson
IG: @tyamir
Twitter: @tysonamir

Spring 2021

General Meeting

Agenda Highlights.

In our Spring Literacy Forum, we convened a parent/educator panel for a rich discussion of lesson learned from a year of remote schooling.  Our panelists looked at what they want to bring forward and want they want to leave behind in virtual learning as we head back to classrooms. Our panelists highlighted the ways that different communication modes between schools and families has helped them support students and in many cases, points the way for closer partnerships moving forward.

Educators shared how their experiences in adapting to distance learning has implications for student engagement, and in particular, attending to their social emotional needs. Existing equity gaps were exacerbated during the pandemic, necessitating a concentrated response as we return to classrooms. In many cases, it is the most under-resourced students that are choosing to remain in remote schooling, increasing the urgency for schools to effectively build out their hybrid and distance learning plans.

See below for links to the presentation agenda,  resources and link to the recorded webinar (coming soon). 

Click below for selected highlights of the Parent & Educator Panel.

  • Resilience:
  • Moving Forward:
  • Communication:
  • Technology:
  • Final Thoughts:

February 2021 SEL Trainings

General Meeting

Agenda Highlights

Social emotional health is critical for young children as it is critical for us all. We know that for children to reach their academic goals, we need to attend to their social emotional needs first. 

In a two-part workshop series in February , we welcomed back our expert facilitator Aija Simmons to share with our community of literacy service providers, educators and educational leaders, ways to foster social emotional learning (SEL) skills and relationship building in their daily work. The series focused on building capacity, both for our external programs, and within our organizations. 

Aija introduced participants to the MPACT and CASEL pyramid learning frameworks. Participants decided on one key area of focus to practice between the two sessions. In breakout rooms grouped by organizational teams and by area of focus, we reflected on which practices we were able to put in place, and looked at our goals for integrating new SEL practices moving forward.

Did you miss the SEL workshop series and want to review? Please check out the resources below: 

Winter 2021

General Meeting

Agenda Highlights

Goals like reading success for all require transformational change and leadership. Our Winter Literacy Forum was an opportunity for educators, parents, programs, organizations, and other community members to hear and learn from each other.  We highlighted OUSD’s new ELA framework, strategy, and curriculum pilot as a critical pathway and opportunity for change.

In small breakout groups, we asked participants to examine: What have been the barriers to successful reading initiatives? What were obstacles in the way? What are the opportunities for change? Participants also examined their own work and leadership in removing barriers and enabling conditions for community level change.

Missed the forum? Want to review? Check out the relevant documents below:

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