||February 28, 2014
|| David Mance, Media Relations Coordinator, 509-969-6084 or email@example.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Heritage University's English Language Learner Endorsement Program is
Named a Finalist in Road Map Project Awards Program
Toppenish, WA — Heritage University’s English Language Learner Academy & Institute (ELLA/ELLI) professional development model was named a finalist in the inaugural Road Map Project Awards for its work to increase equity and eliminate opportunity gaps for students in South King County and South Seattle. As announced last week (2/20/14), the Heritage University program and 20 other finalists stood out from more than 60 nominations for their excellent results, use of data for improvement purposes, and collaboration with teachers and school leaders within the Road Map region to get more powerful results for low-income students and children of color.
“We are thrilled and honored that our program, which has been used with numerous Washington school district partners for over nine years, is nominated for this award. We are committed to providing participants with not only current research and theoretical foundations but also effective job-embedded practices in Bilingual/English as a Second Language instruction,” says Dr. Tricia Valdez-Zontek, the Department Chair of Bilingual & ESL Education at Heritage University.
The Road Map Project is a community-wide effort aimed at dramatically improving student achievement from cradle to college and career in South King County and South Seattle. The Road Map Project Awards Program aims to advance equity and eliminate opportunity gaps by recognizing amazing efforts and encouraging the spread of that success across the region. The HU English Language Learner Academy and Institute and the other finalists will be recognized at a March 4 awards ceremony at the Museum of Flight. A panel of 15 judges, comprised of local and national experts, is helping to determine several special recognition awards for overall excellence.
The event will feature the following guest presenters: Jackie Bezos, president and co-founder of the Bezos Family Foundation; State Supreme Court Justice Steve Gonzalez; Kati Haycock, president of The Education Trust; Norman B. Rice, president and CEO of The Seattle Foundation; and Ralph Smith, managing director of the national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and senior vice president of the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
“The Education Trust is excited to be part of this work and support the Road Map Project Awards Program. We need to spread the success seen in the Road Map Project region across the country to ensure all students enjoy equal opportunities. It’s an honor to participate in an award ceremony focused on closing opportunity gaps and increasing equity across the educational continuum. I believe this work will help improve the lives of children and strengthen communities in the Road Map Project region and beyond,” said Kati Haycock, president of The Education Trust and guest presenter for the Road Map Project awards ceremony.
A full list of finalists can be found at the Road Map Project’s Award Program web page: www.roadmapproject.org/awards.