Skip to Content

Santa Barbara Unified School District: Preschoolers head to the zoo as part of new literacy initiative

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Preschoolers from the Santa Barbara Unified School District are having a blast at the Santa Barbara Zoo.

But this was no ordinary field trip.

"Our focus is on literacy," said executive director of elementary education Denise Alvarado of the Santa Barbara Unified School District.

Created by the Santa Barbara unified school district, Literacy Moves is a new program focused on helping preschoolers make a connection between literacy and community engagement.

“Each of these areas has a vocabulary word from our current curriculum that we have in our elementary school," said Alvarado. "So you will see throughout the experience will be utilizing vocabulary so that they can retain information and their knowledge about what they are hearing and experiencing through their visit at the Santa Barbara zoo."

“We learned rabbit and huff, and these are all words that we’ve been encountered at school. I think pretty much all of them … so being here and giving some real life context is very powerful," said teacher Kelly Mendesh of the Santa Barbara Unified School District.

Teachers hope this collaborative effort will help students cultivate a love for literacy.

“If we help them prepare before they get there by utilizing vocabulary that they are going to encounter when they start the school year … they will be more successful," said Alvarado.

Throughout the year, the preschoolers will go on monthly excursions to various community-based organizations including the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, and Wolf’s Moxi.

Each organization will play a pivotal role in aligning vocabulary with the elementary schools’ newly-adopted Wit & Wisdom curriculum.

"We really just want to push education for all we want everybody to have access," said education supervisor Whitney Roemer of the Santa Barbara Zoo.

Through Literacy Moves, The school district hopes to continue offering preschoolers a dynamic learning environment as they prepare for kindergarten and beyond. 

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County
Santa Barbara

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

Patricia Martellotti

Patricia Martellotti is a reporter for News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Patricia, click here.


News Channel 3-12 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content