ELitE Program (Early Literacy Enrichment)

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Steele Lane Day 1
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Program Overview

ELitE is an after school reading program designed to enhance early literacy skills, specifically tailored for BIPOC children and multilingual learners. The program aims to bridge learning gaps worsened by recent challenges like the wildfires and pandemic. 

The overarching goal of the ELitE Program is to provide additional support to students, facilitating their progress towards achieving a third-grade reading 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. In Sonoma County, over half of all third grade students are below grade level in reading and math. 


ELitE focuses on foundational reading skills crucial for students in kindergarten through 3rd grade. The program endeavors to support: 

  • Developing language skills
  • Phonics and phonemic awareness
  • Word recognition strategies through engaging with diverse, culturally conscious literature 

Curriculum Overview

Each unit is grounded in a specific domain of the Social Justice Standards by Learning for Justice, encompassing Identity, Diversity, Justice, and Action. These units will center around culturally conscious literature that addresses at least one of the Social Justice Standards within its respective domain. 

"The ELitE program is one of the most promising innovations taking place in Sonoma County education. By targeting students who need the most support in a culturally enriching way, we are seeing students’ journey to literacy being accelerated and a love of reading fostered." - Dr. Amie Carter, Sonoma County Office of Education Superintendent