UMass Dartmouth to support Freetown-Lakeville Regional School District educators through grant from Edith Glick Shoolman Children's Foundation

Focus will be on improving early literacy instruction and student achievement at the K-3 levels. Model based on teaching of medicine.

The Edith Glick Shoolman Children's Foundation has awarded the UMass Dartmouth Center for University, School and Community Partnerships a $96,866 grant to improve early literacy achievement skills among Freetown-Lakeville Regional School District students. 

The grant will fund an intensive 4-day Summer Institute, 8 after school workshops, and two full-day workshops on successful strategies for teaching reading.   With the support of a literacy coach beginning in the fall, teachers will participate in "instructional rounds" -- similar to the practice used in medicine - where teachers will observe each other teaching a reading lesson, followed by a discussion of the lesson. 

"The ability to read well is a prerequisite for success in any school or job, and opens the door to an interesting life," said UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Jean F. MacCormack. "We look forward to working with Freetown-Lakeville teachers, principals, and administrators to build on their record of success. Congratulations to the educators for constantly striving to improve. Our goal is to honor Edith Glick Shoolman by providing the best possible education to the children in our schools." 

"Reading is the foundation of all learning, so it is critical that our educators are equipped with the most modern strategies and skills to reach young learners,'' said Jessica Huizenga, Director of Student and Professional Learning for the Freetown-Lakeville School District.  "This grant from the Shoolman Foundation will allow for a consistent approach to literacy teaching in the Freetown-Lakeville schools by  providing  teachers and administrators with  focused professional development that is crucial to the success of our shared approach to teaching." 

The Center for University, School and Community Partnerships (CUSP) will coordinate with the district to assist in the implementation of a research-based, best practices program that will equip teachers with the tools, concepts and applications they need, whether their students are beginning their phonemic awareness or nearing fluency. 

The mission of the Center for University, School and Community Partnerships is to improve student learning in the SouthCoast region by providing high quality practice-based licensure programs and inter-district professional development opportunities to K-12 educators that strengthen their content knowledge, curricula,  teaching practices and leadership skills. 

UMass Dartmouth plays a leadership role in strengthening K-12 education on the SouthCoast through numerous programs, including partnerships with schools throughout the region, support of the Ocean Explorium in downtown New Bedford, and the contribution of thousands of student community service hours to tutoring. 

News and Public Information