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Graduate school receives grant

June 12, 2000

Lewis & Clark’s graduate school has received a $656,621 grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Bilingual Education to fund Project T.A.S.K. (Tools for Academic Skills and Knowledge).

The project will benefit students attending 15 schools in the Beaverton, Gresham-Barlow, Hillsboro, Portland and West Linn-Wilsonville school districts.

Project T.A.S.K. is a professional development program for K-12 educators to improve the academic and social experiences of non-native speaking students.

It brings together parents and educators in higher education and in K-12 schools to forge ways to meet the needs of non-native English-speaking students. Lewis & Clark’s graduate school will use the results to improve the way it prepares teachers to work with non-native speaking students.

“Every school is working on the achievement disparity experienced by English language learners,” says Jay Casbon, dean of Lewis & Clark’s graduate school of education. “This program is targeted to address the needs of these students and the teachers that work with them. We are pleased to continue our efforts in this area. It reinforces our truest values.”

Project T.A.S.K. will increase the number of Portland-area mainstream teachers with the English for Speakers of Other Languages/Bilingual Endorsement, change the way Lewis & Clark prepares teachers for the changing demographics of Oregon’s students, foster school-based initiatives to increase the involvement of minority parents in their children’s education, and sponsor school-based action task groups to develop and implement action plans to increase the capacity and effectiveness of existing K-12 ESOL/ bilingual programs.

Lewis & Clark has received more than $2 million in the past 16 months to develop and support K-12 professional development programs in the area of ESOL/Bilingual education. Previous grants include the Hillsboro Intensive Training Project ($1.1 million), a consortium of Lewis & Clark and the Hillsboro School District, and the Comprehensive Professional Development Project ($300,000), which involves individual teachers throughout Portland-area school districts.

Although each grant uses a different approach, training method and technique, all three grants give classroom teachers the opportunity to strengthen their ability to help non-native English-speaking students experience academic success. Moreover, the grants will significantly increase the number of general classroom teachers who hold the ESOL/ Bilingual Endorsement in participating districts.

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