Western Oregon University awarded $200,000 in cultural education grant

Statesman Journal
By Laura Fosmire
April 3, 2014


Western Oregon University has been awarded $200,000 in grant money from the state Department of Education to support teachers in their efforts to meet the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse students.

The grant will support Project High Five, a collaborative effort between the university, the Ella Curran Food Bank and Oregon Child Development Coalition to bolster both the community and teachers’ efforts to meet the needs of students. The “five” referenced in the project title stands for culture, collaboration, commitment, communication and community.

Teachers’ abilities to work with culturally and linguistically diverse students, in addition to expanding English Language Development, is a key component of Oregon’s 40-40-20 goals.

Western Oregon’s Teaching Research Institute and College of Education are the recipients of the $200,000. The money will build on the project and the work of two prior grant-funded endeavors to build the English Language Development model that the university has been building over the last 18 months.

The model is “a research-based approach that keeps the students in their home classrooms and anchors the learning of English to content that is already part of the students’ academic day,” said Maria Dantas-Whitney, project director, in a press release.

Another aspect of the project is the program evaluation that is included. Officials hope to gather meaningful data in the coming years to evaluate the project and document how it contributes to the state’s 40-40-20 goal.


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