Florida Atlantic: PRAISE

Supporting English Language Learners

Florida Atlantic University’s College of Education has received a $1.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of English Language Acquisition to improve the quality of instruction for preschool-age English language learners and support their readiness for kindergarten.

The five-year project, in collaboration with the School District of Osceola County (SDOC), is titled “PRAISE, Preparing for Readiness and Academic Improvement for pre-School English Learners.” FAU is one of 44 institutions nationwide selected to receive this grant.

PRAISE develops, implements and evaluates a yearlong professional development containing two sequential components: a four-day summer institute for preschool educators and school leaders, and a monthly yearlong school readiness professional learning community. Researchers in the College of Education will provide professional development to paraprofessionals in pre-K classrooms located within SDOC schools.

“English learners in Florida and our nation face significant obstacles,” said Daniel Reyes-Guerra, Ph.D., associate professor in FAU’s Department of Educational Leadership and Research Methodology, and the principal investigator of PRAISE. “Together with our partners at the School District of Osceola County, PRAISE will help to prepare young students to develop their English language and literacy skills as a foundation for their future academic success. The goal is to facilitate their language learning so that they are on equal footing with their peers when they enter the classroom. We not only want them to excel in academics, we want them to be able to harness their language resources to successfully socialize with their peers, teachers and others.”

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