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California Department of Education
News Release
California Department of Education
News Release
Release: #22-41
August 31, 2022
Contact: Communications
Phone: 916-319-0818

State Superintendent Thurmond Announces Access to Free Literacy and Biliteracy Learning Tool for California Families

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced today a partnership with Footsteps2Brilliance, an early literacy and biliteracy solution, that will provide California children and families free access to interactive digital eBooks, songs, and games in English and Spanish. This partnership is part of Superintendent Thurmond’s Statewide Literacy Campaign to help all California students reach the goal of literacy by third grade by the year 2026.

“Literacy is the key to opportunity. We are redoubling efforts to help students recover and expand literacy skills, which have been on the decline during the pandemic,” said Thurmond. “Our goal is to make literacy and biliteracy tools easy to access, easy to use, and most importantly, available for free because we know that once a student learns to read, a student can read to learn anything. And, when students don’t learn to read by third grade, sadly, we know that the risk is greater that they might drop out of school, they could end up in the criminal justice system.”

The Footsteps2Brilliance bilingual early literacy program for birth through third graders is accessible 24/7 via the Internet from the smartphones, tablets, and computers that families already own. This resource expands free access to all children and families statewide, creating a much-needed bridge between school and home. The $27 million digital literacy partnership will provide free learning resources in English and Spanish. Families and caregivers of young students can access the Footsteps2Brilliance digital bilingual educational resources starting today by going to the Footsteps2Brilliance California Bilingual Early Literacy Initiative web page External link opens in new window or tab..

“We are honored to be part of Superintendent Thurmond’s innovative statewide literacy campaign. This initiative will undoubtedly serve as a blueprint for states across the country, as more and more leaders come to understand the impact of early childhood literacy and the need to have students reading proficiently by third grade,” said Footsteps2Brilliance CEO, Ilene Rosenthal.

“We are determined to move the needle in the right direction for California to ensure that our students get access to the best resources to support literacy and biliteracy,” said Thurmond. “I’m excited that this year we are announcing as well, $250 million dollars to go to schools to hire literacy coaches and specialists to support our students and to support our educators. And now we are grateful to be layering on this incredible partnership, $27 million dollars in free resources being donated by Footsteps2Brilliance for California communities that have been working in our schools already.”

For more information about the digital partnership or the literacy campaign, contact the California Department of Education (CDE) at

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

Last Reviewed: Thursday, May 30, 2024
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