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California Department of Education
News Release
California Department of Education
News Release
Release: #21-95
November 22, 2021
Contact: Communications
Phone: 916-319-0818

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond to Spotlight Best Practices to Support Literacy and Biliteracy, to Donate One Million Books and Help Sign Up 100,00 New Library Users

SACRAMENTO—As part of an ongoing effort to help students recover from learning loss, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond will host a town hall to spotlight best practices and secure new ideas to support literacy and biliteracy goals.

On Monday, December 6, 2021, at 3:30 p.m., Superintendent Thurmond will moderate a panel discussion with education leaders who have led or are leading programs that have been proven to improve literacy and biliteracy for Black students, English learners, and other students in need of support of making literacy gains.

Panel participants include:

  • Martha Hernandez, Californians Together
  • Greg Lucas, California State Librarian
  • Dr. Barbara Nemko, Napa County Office of Education Superintendent
  • Brooklyn Williams, Freedom School Coordinator (Freedom School is an evidence-based Afrocentric literacy program of the Children’s Defense Fund)

The town hall is open to the public, and anyone with an idea to improve literacy and biliteracy may send an email to Dr. Nemko and Martha Hernandez will speak about best practices for serving English learners in literacy and biliteracy. Watch the town hall live on the California Department of Education Facebook page External link opens in new window or tab., and stay tuned for a Zoom link and details on how to register.

Superintendent Thurmond is doubling down on his plan to ensure that all students can read by third grade by 2026 and to provide one million books to students and families in need. As part of this effort, Superintendent Thurmond is working to expand the use of California libraries by pledging to help 100,000 students get their first library cards by 2026. He will embark on a library tour, host events, and organize to help California students, especially students in low-income communities, gain access to libraries.

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

Last Reviewed: Tuesday, April 04, 2023
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