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Pacific’s Beyond Our Gates helps propel city to fourth All-America title

Jun 16, 2017

University of the Pacific's efforts to improve literacy throughout the region helped boost Stockton-San Joaquin County to be named an All-America City for the fourth time.

The announcement was made earlier today during the National Civic League's Grade-Level Reading Week in Denver, Colorado. Stockton has won the All-America City Award three times before - 1999, 2004 and 2015. Earlier in the week Pacific also received its fifth Campaign for Grade-Level Reading's Community Solutions Pacesetter Award.

"I am so very proud of the work Pacific and our community partners have done to help improve literacy in Stockton and throughout San Joaquin County," Pacific President Pamela A. Eibeck said. "This national recognition is a true indication that the work we're doing with our partners to improve literacy and college preparedness will have a true and lasting impact for the Stockton region."

This year the National Civic League partnered with the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and the All-America Awards focused on celebrating communities leading the way to improve grade-level reading. Winners had to have improved school readiness, attendance, learning and grade-level reading, as well as met the National Civic League's key criteria of civic engagement and collaboration, inclusiveness and diversity.

"Everyone in Stockton, especially those directly involved with making great strides to improve literacy, should be very proud of this award. After being part of this process in the past, I can appreciate the hard work, time and commitment that goes into being called an All-America City," Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs said. "It shows what we can do when our richly diverse and resilient community comes together to tackle a problem head-on. Only more good can come from this work."

Stockton-San Joaquin County was one of 27 finalists across the country vying for the honor created by the National Civic League nearly 70 years ago to honor civic action, community problem-solving and progress in advancing early literacy.

Advancing early literacy is a key initiative of Pacific's Beyond Our Gates program in which Pacific and community partners work to improve literacy and college readiness among schoolchildren in San Joaquin County through such efforts as Reading by Third, The Tomorrow Project and the Beyond Our Gates Community Council.

As in years past, the presentation by Stockton's delegation will highlight the energy and vibrancy of the city. The mayor will be on-hand to participate in the presentation. The delegation will include local area leaders, nonprofit directors and community organizers, including Stockton Councilmember Dan Wright.

"Recognizing these communities as All-America Cities is our way of applauding the civic leaders, nonprofit organizations and agencies, and corporations that have joined forces to build brighter futures for the children in their communities," Ralph Smith, managing director of the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, said previously. "We are proud of these communities for answering the call and going above and beyond to ensure more hopeful futures for our nation's most vulnerable children."

Earlier in the week, named "Grade-Level Reading Week," the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading's Community Solutions Pacesetter winners received their awards. The group in March named Stockton-San Joaquin County a recipient for being a leader in solving one or more of the challenges to early literacy, including school readiness, school attendance and summer learning. Stockton-San Joaquin also won the Pacesetter Award annually from 2012-2015.

Media contacts:
Daniel Lopez | Office of Mayor Michael Tubbs | (209) 937-8499 |

Keith Michaud | Media Relations Manager, University of the Pacific | 209.946.3275 (office) | 209.470.3206 (cell) |

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