For Immediate Release - July 15, 2014

GOVERNOR PATRICK VISITS ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS ENRICHMENT ACADEMY IN MALDEN

Malden Granted $185,000 Under Patrick Administration’s Gateway Cities Education Agenda to Meet Needs of Students Learning English

ELL Academy Visit
Governor Deval Patrick visits the Reach for the Stars Academy, a summer program run by the Salemwood School in Malden designed to support the academic needs of English Language Learners (ELLs) in the district. (Photo : Eric Haynes / Governor's Office)

MALDEN – Tuesday, July 15, 2014 - Governor Deval Patrick today visited the Reach for the Stars Academy, a summer program run by the Salemwood School in Malden designed to support the academic needs of English Language Learners (ELLs) in the district. The ELL Enrichment Academy is part of the Patrick Administration’s Gateway Cities Education Agenda and is funded by an $185,000 competitive state grant awarded to the school district in collaboration with Boston University in February 2014.

The Reach for the Stars Academy serves 60 ELL students in grades six through nine. This program, and the 19 others like it across the state, further the Patrick Administration’s efforts to close persistent achievement gaps among students and build a 21st century public education system that prepares all students to succeed in the classroom, the workplace and in life.

“We owe it to our students and their families, and to the future of all of us, to close the achievement gap,” said Governor Patrick. “Today I saw a great model for giving all students the tools they need to excel.”

The Gateway Cities Education Agenda, first proposed by Governor Patrick in November 2011, aims to close the persistent achievement gaps that disproportionately affect children living in poverty, students of color, students who are English language learners and students with disabilities, many of whom are heavily concentrated in the Commonwealth’s 26 Gateway Cities. The FY15 budget signed by Governor Patrick last week included $3 million for the Gateway Cities English Language Learners Program, ensuring that funding will again be made available for summer academies next year.

In the Gateway Cities that have received English Language Learners Enrichment Academy grants, educators are working with colleges and universities, community-based organizations and non-profit organizations to operate intensive and accelerated English language instruction to middle and high school students. In these communities, students are significantly enhancing their English language skills, which will prepare them to succeed in college, career and beyond.

“Malden’s unique program brings families into the conversation about their student’s academic careers,” said Secretary of Education Matthew Malone. “We know that families are key allies in helping to close the achievement gap, and Malden provides a great model for others across the Commonwealth.”

The Reach for the Stars Academy is a five-week program that takes place at Salemwood School in Malden five days per week. The program is designed to prepare middle school English language learners in Malden for college and careers by providing them with academic support in the form of English language development, conversation classes and a literacy workshop with supported reading time. Importantly, the Academy also includes engaging enrichment opportunities that include guest speakers, field trips and a creative performance workshop in which students develop their capstone project to demonstrate their learning at the end of the five week program.

For more information on the Patrick Administration’s Gateway Cities English Language Learners Enrichment Academy, please visit www.ma.gov/edu.  


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