ELitE Program (Early Literacy Enrichment)

Developed by Dr. Diann Kitamura, retired Santa Rosa City Schools Superintendent, along with a team from the Sonoma County Office of Education, this early literacy program is designed to support English Language Arts and math in the SRCS elementary K-3 classrooms.

MiSREF focuses on equity-based enrichment education for the SRCS K-8 schools, and has identified early literacy as an area where significant gaps in access are occurring. The ELitE Program is designed to be evidence-based support as recommended by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences.These recommendations include teaching foundational reading skills to students in kindergarten through 3rd grade and include implementation steps and solutions for common obstacles.

The ElitE Program will utilize culturally conscious literature that is relevant to SRCS students, and recognizes their rich and diverse assets. The literature to be used in the program offers rich cultural experiences and language diversity that can expand students’ horizons and understanding of the world around them, while targeting the specific areas of the foundational skills gaps.

The overarching goal of the ElitE Program is to provide a path for students to read at third grade level by the time they reach the end of the third grade school year. Research suggests that reading at the third grade level by the end of the school year is a strong predictor of high school graduation. Studies have shown that students who are not reading at grade level by the end of third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school than students who are reading proficiently.