U.S. Department of Education Grant Helps WestEd Spread Literacy

Reading Apprenticeship and USDOE

The Strategic Literacy Initiative at WestEd has been awarded a $5.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to improve student academic writing skills.

The three-year grant, from the Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) program, supports 60 hours of professional development for 3,000 secondary teachers in California, Indiana, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Teachers will receive an innovative blend of online professional development and face-to-face training.

“We’re looking forward to helping teachers deepen student writing,” says Ruth Schoenbach, Co-Director of the Strategic Literacy Initiative. “Writing plays a large role in preparing students for college and career in the 21st century.”

This professional development will be based on WestEd’s Reading Apprenticeship, a framework designed to improve teachers’ knowledge and instructional repertoires for teaching academic reading and writing in all academic subject areas. In turn, these practices increase students’ ability to meet the reading, writing, and learning proficiencies described in the Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards.

Reading Apprenticeship has helped more than one million students from middle school through college become better readers and thinkers by helping teachers learn how to share what they already know about understanding texts in their subject areas. Nearly 20 years of research, including three randomized controlled trials, have documented the impact of Reading Apprenticeship.

“Reading Apprentice equips teachers and students for the real work of grappling with knowledge,” says Glen Harvey, CEO of WestEd. “We’re excited to share these deep literacy skills with thousands more across the country.”

Reading Apprenticeship previously won two prestigious and competitive Investing in Innovation (i3) grants from the U.S. Department of Education. 

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