Improvement Grants Awarded to Schools

Six BC elementary schools have been awarded grants to boost their students’ literacy skills. The grants are part of an innovative program to assist public schools serving low-income and at-risk students develop new literacy strategies.

Out of an original 37 applicants, seven schools received $5000 grants in April to create detailed action plans for improving literacy. A selection committee comprised of Dr. Eileen Wood (Waterloo University), Dr. Judy Halbert (Network of Performance Based Schools), Melissa Foster (Valley First Credit Union), and SAEE staff reviewed those proposals and chose 6 schools to begin their projects this fall. The winning schools are:

Khowhemun Elementary, Duncan
West Heights Elementary, Mission
Alexander Elementary, Duncan
Heath Elementary, Delta
Morley Elementary, Burnaby
Ruth King Elementary, Victoria

The schools will receive $15,000 each from SAEE over the next two years to carry out the instructional strategies chosen to help them reach their achievement targets. Each school has secured an outside research partner to assist them with data collection, and SAEE will produce a case studies report to share with other schools facing similar challenges.

The School Improvement Grants Program is sponsored by SAEE, a non-profit education research agency, with support from the Canadian Language and Literacy Research Network (CLLRNET), and the Hecht Memorial, Royal Bank, Donner, and Anonymous Foundations. SAEE continues to seek additional partners to expand the program.

This is the third set of schools receiving SIGP grants. Case studies of the first schools were published in School Improvement in Action (Fleming & Raptis, 2005). A second set of 6 schools is completing Year 1 of their two-year projects.

“Research tells us that schools serving at-risk students can perform at high levels if given the necessary support”, said Helen Raham, Executive Director of SAEE. These schools are to be congratulated for choosing a valuable goal and focusing their efforts to improve literacy outcomes. What we can learn from these case studies will help many other schools increase student success.”