Preschool teachers in the Worcester (Mass.) Child Development Program are gaining new skills in their work to build literacy among some of the city’s most vulnerable children. A new professional development program developed by EDC, Reading Enrichment to Nurture Excellence in Worcester (RENEW), assists teachers in boosting language and literacy acquisition among low-income children ages 3 to 5.
More than 30 educators are participating in RENEW. The program includes three courses on language and literacy acquisition developed by EDC, weekly instructional coaching for classroom teachers, and adoption of a new research-based literacy curriculum for children. One of the three courses developed by EDC will focus on working with English language learners, who comprise 30 percent of the students. EDC will also assess the program’s effectiveness to ensure that all children enter kindergarten with the necessary language and literacy skills.
“We lay the foundation with research on how children learn and then focus on what practices teachers can adopt in the classroom to promote literacy and language development,” says EDC’s Sue Washburn.
RENEW is a three-year project funded by an Early Reading grant from the U.S. Department of Education.
Originally published on January 21, 2009