The Summer Learning Gap and Income Inequality

Here’s a quick video from featuring Brian Williams, showing why it is so important for kids to be exposed to reading and other activities during the Summer months.


YES Prep: College-Bound Culture

A focus on college preparation for all students at YES Prep North Central helps get them to four-year schools.


Exploring College, Careers and Beyond

college and career options

uPLANit is a video-based web site that allows students to learn about hundreds of careers. The web site offers help in applying for college financial aid. It also hosts many colleges. Make time to check out uPLANit with your children at


Why Reading on Grade Level is Critical

Do you know if your child is reading at grade level?  A study by the Annie E. Casey Foundation entitled “Early Warning! Why Reading by the end of Third Grade Matters” found that a child who can’t read on grade level by third grade is four times less likely to graduate from high school by age 19 than a child who is reading on grade level.

Donald J. Hernandez, author of the study explains, “We teach reading for the first three grades and then after that children are not so much learning to read but using their reading skills to learn other topics. In that sense, if you haven’t succeeded by third grade, it’s more difficult to catch up than it would have been if you started before then.”  So in other words, first you learn to read, and then you need to read to learn.

According to the report, several factors contribute to low reading proficiency. Children must be ready to succeed when they get to school (cognitively, socially, emotionally and physically) before they can learn there. They need to be present at school because they can’t learn if they aren’t there. They need to have high quality learning opportunities, beginning at birth and continuing in school and during out-of-school time, including summers, in order to sustain learning gains and not lose ground.

If you’re not sure if your child is reading at grade level, make an appointment to visit your child’s teacher. There is a lot that can be done to catch up and parents can play a critical role.  Read with your child every day. This can mean having your child read to you AND you reading aloud to your child (at any age). Show interest in what they’re reading by asking questions along the way. “What’s happened so far?” “Who’s your favorite character?” “How did the book end?”  To improve their ability to read smoothly and easily, read books more than once until words become familiar. And find books that relate to their favorite topics like animals, sports, hobbies and places.

Expect More Tehama is excited to be a part of a new initiative called Tehama Reads which will work to encourage everyone to do what they can to help all of our students become proficient readers. Look for more on Tehama Reads in the New Year.


(Kathy Garcia is the Business Services and Marketing Manager at the Job Training Center and a member of the Expect More Tehama Leadership Team)



Expect More Tehama: No Excuses University network of schools


Last week I had the honor of joining Lianne Richelieu-Boren, Executive Director of College Options, and a group of educators and community members from Shasta, Tehama, and Siskiyou Counties in attending the “No Excuses University” conference in Chicago.  Other team members included, Kelly Salter with the McConnell Foundation, Marynn Kae-Munson, Nathan Zorn, and Becky Nail from College Options, Rob Adams and Brad Clagg from the Redding School District, Cheryl Olsen from the Enterprise School District, and Charlene Ramont, Shasta County Health Equity Coordinator. The mission of our group was to learn what the No Excuses system is all about and aid in the implementation of this system in schools across the North State.


The No Excuses University network of schools is the vehicle by which like-minded educators from across the nation link together to create school cultures and systems that ultimately result in every student being college ready. Educators at these schools are committed to coaxing remarkable academic success from every student, without exception and without excuse even students who bring the greatest challenges to the classroom.

Every No Excuses University has a well-defined process for identifying and creating the exceptional systems of Culture of Universal Achievement, Collaboration, Standards Alignment, Assessment, Data Analysis, and Interventions.

Staff members at No Excuses Schools are committed to insuring that every student is prepared for college, courageous in their endeavors to put the students’ needs first, collaborative as a staff to create the exceptional systems, creative, character centered – explicitly teaching and modeling behavior and academic expectations – and of course, college crazy as they promote college for all.

In addition, every No Excuses University campus works diligently to expose students to powerful college symbolism. This symbolism is seen in the college flags and banners hung on every door, felt through the close partnerships forged between classrooms and universities, and heard in the college chants that exist at each grade level.

The No Excuses University is the perfect companion to Expect More Tehama’s effort to assure that the students of Tehama County leave high school equipped with the tools to be successful in college and beyond.

Richfield School will be the first in Tehama County to implement the program with other schools following after a regional training in March. Our community is very excited to be Tehama County’s first school in this remarkable network.

It is the duty of every educator to assure that our students are given every opportunity for success in life. No Excuses means just that.

Rich Gifford is the superintendent and principal at Richfield School. This year Richfield qualified to apply for the California Distinguished School selection process.


Tehama READS! Launched this week…..grade 3 is critical!

Looking at current levels of reading proficiency in Tehama County, only 42% of students are reading at grade level.  Studies show that 74% of those who do not read at grade level by third grade will never catch up.

In addition, these students:

  • Statistically will have lower self esteem
  • Are likely to have poor school attendance
  • Typically have behavior problems
  • Are at risk for dropout
  • Struggle in the workplace
  • Become involved in the justice system.

In response to these sobering statistics, and realizing that improving early literacy is an urgent need in our county, Expect More Tehama+ is launching Tehama READS!, Tehama County’s “Readers by Third Grade” Campaign.

This ten-year initiative is a collaborative effort, by multiple stakeholders across the county; from the individual efforts of the mayors of our cities to the parents of students served.

Tehama READS! Will help to ensure that all children in Tehama County can read at grade level by the end of third grade.


College Quest

College Quest