GUSD Literacy Partnership is a campaign sponsored by Goleta Union School District and United Way of Santa Barbara County.
“United Way is a highly valued partner with the Goleta Union School District. Our K-6 students’ reading skills have improved greatly due to reading development programs such as Lexia and Reading Plus. Fun in the Sun is a highly engaging program designed to support our children during the summer months. We love the Kindergarten Success Institute because it provides an essential foundation for our incoming kindergarten students. None of this would be possible without United Way.”
Donna Lewis, Superintendent, Goleta Union School District.
About United for Literacy and Power Reading
The United for Literacy Initiative was born out of a major effort to discover what local residents saw as the most pressing issues facing our community over the next ten years. We found that citizens from all walks of life were deeply concerned about the state of our educational system and eager to improve it. To serve this need, United Way of Santa Barbara County launched the United for Literacy Initiative in 2010.
Power Reading Works - and the Results Prove It
After seven months of consistent Power Reading use, teacher training, and support at El Camino Elementary School - one of our earliest Power Reading adopters in Goleta, and a school with high numbers of financially and academically at-risk students - the percentage of students who were on-target to meet grade-level benchmarks increased from 15% to 24%. Additionally, in February 2016, El Camino became on of the very few schools in Santa Barbara County to ever exits Program improvement, a Department of Education classification for schools that do not meet yearly progress goals.
Taking a Successful Partnership to the Next Level
After four years of excellent results at five Goleta Union Schools, United Way of Santa Barbara County's Power Reading Program is being expanded to all nine schools in the Goleta Union School District. The first phase of the partnership has spanned a three-year period from August 2016 to August 2019. This district-wide project - with its individualized, research-based literacy tools and techniques - has the potential to significantly improve the futures of thousands of children and their families.
When the expanded partnerships began in August 2016, Lexia Reading software was made available to students, teachers, and parents throughout the District. The total project cost is $200,000. Approximately $20,000 is needed to license the software for each of the District's nine schools, and the remaining 10% will be used for training and support. United Way staff will train District educators, principals, and staff to administer Lexia Reafing software according to national best practices and current research. Training will also focus on maximizing student achievement, monitoring student and class progress, and agjusting the curriculum.
After the school year begins, United Way staff will enter all student information into the program, monitor usage patterns, and work with the District to make improvements that will maximze the program's impact. Throughout the partnership, United Way will provide ongoing training to teachers and administrators, supporting those who need assistance, and helping with the compilation and analysis of data at individual, class, school, and district levels.
Why Goleta? The nine school districts in the Goleta Union School District serve a very socio-economically diverse group of students, making it extremely challenging to provide tools and instruction that can be implemented on a ditrict-wide level. Of the estimated 3,700 children currently enrolled, only half are deemed proficient in English Language arts, more than a third are English Language learners, and approximately 44% are considered socio-economically disadvantaged.
Your sponsorship of the Goleta Union School District Literacy Partnership will provide cutting-edge reading improvement tools, teacher training, and support for Pre-K through Fifth Grade students and their families for three full years.