Petition for Monthly Family Engagement Events to Promote Student Literacy
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As you all know, the Oakland Unified School District is filled with students from low-income, immigrant families that are not given adequate resources to ensure that they are building a strong literacy foundation from an elementary school level. In her 2014 article, “More [Graduates] from Oakland Schools, and Other Data Points,” Barbara Grady of Oakland Local stated that an alarming 38% of third grade students enrolled in OUSD schools could read at grade level. This early lack of literacy development is extremely detrimental to a child’s entire academic future and can lead to exponential consequences, including failure to complete high school. Of the 94 various OUSD elementary, middle, and high school level teachers who responded to a self-conducted survey in April of this year, 93.6% responded to have witnessed an achievement gap between students of more affluent, non-immigrant families and students of low-income, immigrant families. Families of this demographic often lack both time and proficient English language skills to provide at-home academic support for their children. Thus, many Oakland youth are not able to set themselves up for academic success in the future, as literacy is fundamental to all other learning.
In order to address the issue of illiteracy amongst low-income, immigrant students in Oakland schools, we want for Bella Vista Elementary School to start a program that carries out monthly family engagement events where parents or family members of students can receive information about the curriculum being taught in classrooms and the work their students are expected to do at school. We chose to have this particular action take place at your school because most of a student’s literacy foundation is built in the lower grade elementary levels, and we wanted to target elementary schools that are known to have high populations of students from low-income, immigrant families. This program being held in the school will help to encourage and aid efforts to offer academic support at home - a second critical learning environment for students of this demographic to develop literacy skills that will be essential to their future academic success. We would like there to be a workshop/event that takes place on one of the weekends every month that parents can attend to be more educated on how to support their children/students at home. To ensure that this process can be successful, we hope that you, as the principal of the school, can authorize this action to be taken and allow this event to take place in school grounds.
Avery Bluey (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Emily Yu (email@example.com)
Josie Chen (firstname.lastname@example.org)
9th Grade Students || Oakland Technical High School
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