|February 22, 2005
Mike Stepanovich, 661/664-2456 or
ChevronTexaco Contributes $600,000 to Support Bakersfield Early Literacy Project
California State University, Bakersfield; Bakersfield City School District and Houghton Mifflin Co. partner to improve literacy among preschool students
BAKERSFIELD, Calif., Feb. 21, 2005 – In an effort to improve literacy among children in Bakersfield, the Bakersfield City School District (BCSD) and California State University, Bakersfield (CSUB) today announced that ChevronTexaco is contributing $600,000 to the “Preschool Literacy Project – Building Blocks to Reading Success.”
"It’s clear that positive early childhood experiences set the stage for life-long success – in the classroom and beyond,” said ChevronTexaco San Joaquin Valley Business Unit Vice President Warner Williams. “We’re proud to support programs like the Preschool Literacy Project that deliver sustained benefits to the Bakersfield community,"
This project will help alleviate a critical problem that has been identified locally. The impact within the district should be demonstrated within one to two years with children entering kindergarten with significantly higher emergent literacy skills.
As part of ongoing community efforts, BCSD, CSUB, and Houghton Mifflin created the Preschool Literacy Program to address the problem at the earliest stage of education – pre-school.
“This is an enormously important project for our region,” said CSUB President Horace Mitchell. “By targeting children at an early age, we will be able to place them on the track to a lifetime of success.”
As part of the project, CSUB faculty will offer training to BCSD preschool teachers. Literacy coaches will develop model literacy strategies, provide feedback to teachers, and conduct on-going assessments to customize instruction. Additionally, preschool educators and parents will learn techniques on early literacy instruction, assessment methods and how to use in-home resources as teaching tools.
“This project lays the foundation for essential emergent literacy skills,” said Jean Fuller, BCSD superintendent. “Research indicates that children need certain pre-literacy skills from recognizing the front and back of a book to recognizing letters of the alphabet. This project will tap into the existing strong preschool programs and help children be ready to learn how to read on their first day of kindergarten.”
“Through these partnerships we hope to increase the number of students who attend college. Not only will that improve the quality of their lives, but also it will improve the quality of our local economy,” Mitchell said.
ChevronTexaco Corp. is one of the world's leading energy companies. With more than 47,000 employees, ChevronTexaco conducts business in approximately 180 countries around the world, producing and transporting crude oil and natural gas, and marketing and distributing fuels and other energy products. ChevronTexaco is based in San Ramon, Calif. More information on ChevronTexaco is available at www.chevrontexaco.com.
California State University, Bakersfield, a member of the 23-campus California State University system, is a comprehensive regional university with an enrollment of nearly 8,000 that serves the southern San Joaquin Valley and east-central California. CSUB's four schools – Humanities and Social Sciences, Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Education, and Business and Public Administration – offer 31 undergraduate and 21 graduate degrees in a variety of disciplines, providing educational opportunities for one of the fastest growing regions in California. Enrollment and other information is available at the university's website, www.csub.edu.
The Bakersfield City School District was chartered in 1882 and has a geographical boundary that encompasses 158 square miles – independent of the Bakersfield city limits. The BCSD is the largest elementary district in the state, comprising 43 schools – 32 elementary, two junior high, six middle schools, one community day school, one school for the severely handicapped and one specialized. Most of the district’s elementary schools have self-contained classrooms with one teacher presenting all subjects. In the middle schools, team teaching and cooperative learning are stressed and encouraged. The instructional program is departmentalized at the junior high level. For additional information, please visit the district’s website at www.bcsd.com.
Boston-based Houghton Mifflin Co. is one of the leading educational publishers in the United States, with more than $1 billion in sales. Houghton Mifflin publishes textbooks, instructional technology, assessments, and other educational materials for elementary and secondary schools and colleges. The company also publishes an extensive line of reference works and award-winning fiction and nonfiction for adults and young readers. Additionally, Houghton Mifflin offers computer-administered testing programs and services for the professional and certification markets. With its origins dating back to 1832, Houghton Mifflin combines its tradition of excellence with a commitment to innovation. The company's Web site can be found at www.hmco.com.