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November 18, 2009 > District receives second grant from East Bay Community Foundation

District receives second grant from East Bay Community Foundation

Submitted By Rick LaPlante

The East Bay Community Foundation, which earlier this year awarded the New Haven Unified School District a grant to support a Writing Workshop, has awarded the District a second grant for a complementary literacy program. The Foundation is giving the District $11,000 to train teachers and literacy coaches in the Elements of Balanced Literacy. "Balanced Literacy is a methodology that incorporates a variety of modalities, such as read-alouds, shared reading and guided reading," said New Haven Chief Academic Officer, Wendy Gudalewicz. "The Balanced Literacy approach to instruction reflects a gradual release of control. Responsibility is gradually shifted from the teacher to the students, leading to student independence in reading. The teachers who are being trained will establish model classrooms, and the literacy coaches will provide parent training," said Director of Instructional Support Scott Pizani.

Balanced Literacy is "an ideal complement to Writing Workshop," Mr. Pizani added, referring to the research-based approach to writing instruction that has met with great success in New Haven Unified since it was adopted in 2007-08. In June, the East Bay Community Foundation granted the District $25,000 to provide training in the advanced sections of Writing Workshop for kindergarten, first and second-grade teachers. "Making connections between Balanced Literacy and Writing Workshop is the next logical step," said Mr. Pizani.

New Haven was encouraged to apply to the East Bay Community Foundation because of the Foundation's interest in helping to provide training for literacy education, particularly in primary grades. Formed in 1928, East Bay Community Foundation is a leading resource on charitable giving and community needs, stewarding more than 400 charitable funds and endowments.

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