Tahoe Truckee, California
The GLR Campaign and National Civic League recognize Tahoe Truckee, California, as a 2017 finalist for the All-America City Awards. Tahoe Truckee is cited for reporting measurable progress in school attendance, summer learning and overall grade-level reading for children from low-income families, as well as for exemplary efforts in promoting civic engagement and inclusiveness. In response to a compelling need to address grade-level reading, the Tahoe Truckee Reads campaign was created by a coalition including the education and community foundations, the health and human services department, the school district, organizations working in early childhood development, educators and parents. Efforts to address attendance-related issues have been markedly successful. The percentage of low-income students who were chronically absent decreased from 11 percent of students in TK (Transitional Kindergarten) through third grade in 2011–12 to 8 percent in 2015–16. As part of the campaign strategy to address summer learning losses in low-income neighborhoods, trained teachers have offered literacy programming in five low-income neighborhoods (mobile home parks and apartment complexes) and are serving over 100 students each summer. Infusing literacy into existing summer programming is another strategy deployed by the campaign. At the start of each summer, school district literacy coaches conduct a training with frontline summer camp staff (Parks and Recreation, Boys & Girls Club) on how to incorporate literacy activities into their existing camp structure. The public libraries are also a partner and coordinate rotating lending libraries for the various summer camps. The school district offers a summer school program, Summer Scholars, to assist students with the greatest needs in reading. Third-grade students who attended Summer Scholars demonstrated average growth of .4 Independent Reading Levels (IRLs) over the summer. In overall grade-level reading, the percentage of third graders who scored proficient increased from 50 percent in 2014–15 to 51 percent in 2015–16.