Appalachians Building Capacity
in early language and literacy
We are partnering with Head Start, Early Head Start and families of infants and toddlers to increase early language and literacy skills so these children enter kindergarten prepared to learn to read.
By age 4, a child who has been raised in a language rich environment will have heard 30 million more words than one who has not. Waiting until children reach kindergarten to teach these skills virtually guarantees that they will never catch up to their peers in reading and comprehension. These children will not be prepared to take the courses in middle school and high school that lead to highly skilled jobs upon graduation, if they graduate at all. We can only reverse this trend by getting to the children very, very early, which is what Appalachians Building Capacity is doing.
|Program PI:||Paige Pullen, PhD, Associate Professor and Program Coordinator for Special Education, UVa Curry School of Education|
|Program Outcomes:||Improved Pre-K PALS Scores
Increased PPVT Scores
Increased Reading SOLs
Increased College Enrollment Rate
Strategic Blueprint for Education
|Long Term Outcomes:||Increased High School Graduation Rate
Increased College Graduation Rate
Increased Per Capita Income
- Professional Development for Teachers PreK through Grade 3 and for Health Care Providers
Southwest virginia Early Language and Literacy (SWELL) Professional Development (SWELL-PD)
The goal of SWELL-PD is to create intense, high-quality preschool and kindergarten programs in rural, Southwest Virginia designed to facilitate children’s acquisition of essential emergent literacy skills—phonological awareness, alphabet knowledge, print awareness, and oral language. SWELL-PD will extend to primary grades (1-3) in year 2 and upper elementary grades and beyond in year 3.
ABC personnel from UVa, UVa-Wise, and local school districts will work together to provide ongoing support and professional development to teachers of preschool and kindergarten children in Southwest Virginia whose students will enter public school in the low-performing areas in the region. The principal investigator will provide workshops for teachers and local teachers will serve as literacy coaches and provide model lessons on site in SWELL-PD classrooms.
This initiative builds on a pilot project led by UVa Professor Paige Pullen which successfully built relationships among UVa, UVa-Wise, Kid Central Head Start and Early Head Start, and the Wise County School System, and which developed protocols for delivering professional development programs.
We hope to expand the successful pilot program for professional development to serve a larger number of teachers pre K – Grade 3.
Professional Development for Healthcare Providers (ABC-Healthcare PD)
The goal of ABC-Healthcare PD is to create community-based knowledge and awareness of early language and literacy, reading development, and disabilities strategies to improve the long-term educational outcomes of students across the life-span in Southwest Virginia.
Parents often trust medical personnel and look to them for recommendations for their children. We will provide online and face-to-face professional development on early language and literacy, reading development, and disabilities from an educational perspective to pediatricians, nurses, nurse practitioners and other healthcare professionals. The increased knowledge will link education personnel and health professionals to the ultimate goal of improved educational outcomes in the region.
We seek to have ABC personnel from UVa, UVa-Wise, and local school districts work together to provide ongoing support and professional development to healthcare providers in the region.
- SWELL Families
- Cross-Age Tutors
- Virginia College Advising Corps (formerly the College Guide Program)
- Education Blueprint
Home visitors will provide parents of young children training on shared storybook reading and oral language development. Parents will receive ongoing support as well as books and literacy related materials (games, puzzles, art supplies). This research-based initiative also builds on a pilot project led by UVa Professor Paige Pullen which successfully built relationships among UVa, UVa-Wise, Kid Central Head Start and Early Head Start, and the Wise County School System, and which developed protocols for interacting with families.
Our goal is to expand the successful pilot program for SWELL Communities to increase the number of direct family interactions.
Children in middle and high school will tutor young children with reading difficulties. Research suggests that cross-aged tutoring benefits the tutor and tutee in reading development. ABC Tutors will increase the literacy rates of children and youth in Southwest Virginia.
We hope to launch a new program in which ABC personnel from UVa, UVa-Wise, and local school districts will provide training to adolescents with reading difficulties on how to teach young children to read.
The University of Virginia launched the Virginia College Advising Corps in fall 2005 to address the widening gap in college access for low income, first generation, and under-represented groups. The Corps places recent UVa graduates in high schools and community colleges throughout the Commonwealth to work alongside counselors and other college access organizations. Our goal is to encourage and assist high school and community college students with college applications, financial aid, scholarship searches, and facilitate the transition to post-secondary education.
Professor Pullen will work with local schools to lead an education strategic blueprint planning effort, similar to blueprints completed for health and entrepreneurship. This community-wide, multi-stakeholder planning process for education will help define common goals, values, and priority projects.