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Project Reach is a Title III grant supported by the Office of English Language Acquisition, United States Department of Education. The project is coordinated through the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center and the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Maine. The innovative, comprehensive, statewide project is partnered with the Maine Department of Education and the fifteen Local Education Agencies with the largest English Learner (EL) populations to implement a research-based collaborative to address diverse needs of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educators working with ELs. Project Reach brings together multiple disciplines from the humanities, social sciences, and STEM areas to work together in addressing EL education problems. This collaboration allows the implementation of a comprehensive, statewide program in support of K-12 ELs in Maine’s public schools. Through four core components, the project focus on:
- Implementing a comprehensive teacher training program to upgrade the skills and qualifications of pre- and in-service teachers, particularly those in the STEM content areas, who teach ELs. Project Reach’s competitive two-year scholarship program will provide future and current teachers with award packages, mentorship and advising to complete an English as a Second Language (ESL) endorsement and successfully pass the Praxis II exam.
- Developing research-based curricula to better meet the needs of EL teachers, including new coursework and Graduate Certificate aligned with the common core state standards, WIDA, and ESL Praxis II. Project Reach will offer the ESL endorsement courses as face-to-face, summer institutes, and online to serve the needs of EL teachers in rural areas.
- Implementing new research efforts designed to collect and analyze data on EL teachers and EL performance through an EL Teach Impact study. The generation and dissemination of new research will provide insight into issues facing teachers and ELs in Maine.
- Offering outreach and professional development to partnering districts in the form of site visits, customized workshops, annual reports, an informational website, in-depth residential institutes, and curriculum relevant to ELs.
Supported by the U.S. Department of Education award T365Z110040 at the University of Maine and the National Science Foundation award EPS-0904155 to Maine EPSCoR Sustainability Solutions Initiative.
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