Peninsula Literacy Coalition, or PLC, was formed as a result of a conversation among civic leaders who identified early childhood literacy as a pressing concern in Redwood City. Non-English language proficiency and poverty are significant barriers that prevent students from achieving literacy success. Currently, 69% percent of the elementary school students served by the Redwood City School District are either English language learners or live at or below the poverty level. Over two thirds of the public school children in our community are at risk of failing to meet grade level reading proficiency, an alarming number of which have fallen progressively behind their peers and established educational standards. However, early intervention through supplemental support has proven effective in closing the literacy gap by accelerating learning and providing extra support for struggling students.
The Redwood City School District (the initial target district of the PLC) is working diligently to address the widening literacy gap by providing supplemental programs and curriculum designed to increase success for English language learners . The District also welcomes partnerships from the wider community. Many quality literacy support programs are successfully providing support through tutoring for struggling students, but the number of students in need well outnumber the capacity of these organizations, leaving a large number of kids without needed literacy intervention.