family center awarded $2.3 million
for Family and Community Partnerships in the College of Education
has been awarded a $2.3 million grant from the United States
Department of Education to strengthen literacy efforts in early
is one of 30 funded across the nation as part of the Bush administration
initiative “No Child Left Behind.” The grant will be used to
implement Project LEER, an Early Reading First (ERF) program.
LEER — Spanish for “to read” - is an acronym for Learners Eager
for Early Reading.
is to transform existing early education programs into centers
of excellence that provide high-quality, early education to
young children, especially those from low-income families,”
said Polly Turner, Ph.D., Center for Family and Community Partnerships
director. “The overall purpose is to prepare young children
to enter kindergarten with the necessary language, cognitive
and early reading skills to prevent reading difficulties and
ensure school success.”
LEER was developed by Turner, Carol Westby, Ph.D., senior research
scientist, and Mary Dudley, Ph.D., director of the UNM Family
in the effort is the Albuquerque Public School’s Even Start
and Child Find programs for three and four-year-olds; childcare/preschool
classrooms under the auspices of the City of Albuquerque, and
Baby Amigo, a home visiting project of the UNM Family Development
Program directed by Judy Madewell.
will be used for materials, curricula, teacher professional
development and assessment. New Mexico standards of performance
and benchmarks will be used.
and their assistants, home visitors and literacy mentors will
participate in intensive summer institutes this year and in
2004 led by national experts on early literacy from Rutgers
University. In addition, teaching staff will take part in monthly
professional development and be supported by mentors, both onsite.
will learn how to administer ongoing assessments.