Dr. Anthony Collatos, assistant professor of education, was awarded a $195,000 grant from the prestigious California Community Foundation (CCF) to implement a program to improve student achievement in K-5 schools demonstrating the greatest need. The program will facilitate professional development for teachers to enhance the quality of education and students’ literacy and mathematics skills in the most underserved communities in Los Angeles County. Provided under CCF’s Education Collaborative Initiative, the grant directly supports the mission of the GSEP Urban Initiative, an umbrella program established to effectively prepare students for long-term work in culturally diverse and under-resourced urban areas.
“Through a series of professional development workshops and continuous on-site mentoring, we hope to provide quality instruction that raises students’ academic performance in English language arts and mathematics,” said Collatos, director of the Education Collaborative Initiative Planning Grant. “We hope our unique approach will provide a model for how University faculty and educational experts can work with teachers to maximize the potential of small learning communities and grade-level organizations.”
The project seeks to foster a relationship between GSEP, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LA USD), and four LA USD Local District 6 elementary schools selected based on interest by school leadership, school demographics and academic needs, and student performance on standardized tests. In addition, students attending these schools face a series of educational barriers including limited English language proficiency; overcrowded classrooms; and a lack of access to libraries, mentorship opportunities, affordable enrichment programs, and extracurricular activities. The program will be rolled out during the 2009–2010 and 2010–2011 academic school years.