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$2 Million Grant to Serve English Learners Across Rural Idaho

By: Brady W Moore   Published 12:04 pm / October 25, 2016

Claudia Peralta, a professor and researcher in the Department of Literacy, Language and Culture in the College of Education, received a $2 million grant to improve learning opportunities and educational outcomes for English Learners (ELs) across Idaho.

Photo of Claudia Peralta.

Claudia Peralta.

The professional development project known as Rural Endorsement and Development Opportunities (REDO) is led by Peralta as principal investigator and Diane Boothe as program coordinator. The program will help teacher-leaders become well-grounded in teaching strategies, theory and research related to teaching in culturally and linguistically diverse settings. The online program will provide opportunities for educators working with ELs in often under-served rural communities.

The grant pays tuition and fees for 120 (80 English as a new language and 40 bilingual) in-service teachers and 12 paraprofessionals. The classes will focus on increasing understanding of oral language development, academic language and cultural diversity and inclusivity, as well as ensuring knowledge of dual language approaches.

The project aims to improve relationships and engagement of parents and families in the academic opportunities of their children.

“As recipient of this prestigious and highly competitive grant given by the U.S. Department of Education, I am proud to say that this recognition is a great honor for me as an educator committed to working with culturally and linguistically diverse students,” Peralta said. “Moreover, this award confirms that educators in rural communities should be given access to innovative programs ensuring English language learners equal access to excellent education.”

The Office of English Language Acquisition National Professional Development Grant program, funded by the U.S. Department of Education, provides grants for eligible entities to implement professional development activities intended to improve instruction for ELs and assists education personnel working with ELs to meet high professional standards.

“Historically under-served rural communities and English language learners represent some of Idaho’s greatest needs for educational innovation” said Rich Osguthorpe, dean of the College of Education. “Boise State is fortunate to have the expertise of Claudia Peralta and Diane Boothe to lead this important effort in providing meaningful professional development for teachers who will impact the lives of countless students. Claudia’s successful pursuit of this grant is a giant step forward for making a difference where it is needed the most, and it is one more reason why we are the fastest rising graduate school of education in the country.”