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California Department of Education
News Release
California Department of Education
News Release
Release: #21-87
October 29, 2021
Contact: Communications
Phone: 916-319-0818

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Visits Allegiance STEAM Academy to Celebrate Literature Day

CHINO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today met with school administrators, educators, and students of Allegiance STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) Academy in Chino to promote the importance of literacy and celebrate the school’s Literature Day parade.

Enrolling 658 K–8 grade students, Allegiance STEAM Academy opened in 2018 with a focus on preparing students, especially girls and students of color, for careers in the fields of science and technology. Superintendent Thurmond, along with Allegiance STEAM Academy CEO Dr. Sebastian Cognetta, read to a first-grade classroom; toured a sixth grade classroom; and ended with attending the school’s Literature Day parade, where students dressed up as their favorite literary character or author. Before the end of the tour, Superintendent Thurmond donated books to the school as part of his book drive effort to secure one million books for students and their families.

“The Literature Day parade was a true celebration, and I am thankful to Allegiance STEAM for inviting me to have me be a part of the festivities and to see several remarkable classrooms,” Superintendent Thurmond said. “There is nothing better than celebrating reading. Reaching literacy by third grade has long been a goal of California schools and a key benchmark in measuring and predicting student success. We must take bold action to help students meet this important milestone and to put them on a path for lifelong learning as opposed to a path that increases the likelihood that they will drop out of school or end up in the criminal justice system. We already know that when students learn to read, they can read to learn anything, and that this is a gateway skill that can carry them to any point in their life, career, and in their journey.”

This school visit is part of a series of on-campus visits that the State Superintendent is making to spread his message of a bold literacy vision for ensuring that every California student will learn to read by third grade by the year 2026. The effort will also include a biliteracy milestone for dual-language learners.

Superintendent Thurmond also called for efforts to get books in the hands of as many students and families as possible and encouraged those interested in participating in this new literacy effort or who wish to learn more to email

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Tony Thurmond — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

Last Reviewed: Monday, April 24, 2023
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