Lindsay Unified School District is one of five districts in Central California to receive a grant from the James B. McClatchy Foundation for early education.

Lindsay received the grant to support 451 incoming pre-kindergarten learners and their families, most of whom are native Spanish speakers. The grant will help with providing resources for dual language learners, who have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

With a mission to help dual language-speaking children in the Valley the McClatchy Foundation has provided $4.1 million in grants to five districts in the Valley: Delhi Unified School District; Lindsay, Washington Unified School District; Winters Joint Unified School District; and Woodlake School District.

These districts will work with California Education Partners to develop programs designed to lead to continued improvement for students from pre-K to third grade. Earlier in 2021, the McClatchy Foundation also provided funds for the Emerging Bilingual Collaborative, joining the California Community Foundation, Heising-Simons Foundation, Silver Giving Foundation, and Sobrato Family Philanthropies, as co-funders, working together to help educators more successfully support dual language learners and English learners in PreK through 3rd grade. 

“It is imperative that we all understand and adequately address the struggles of Dual Language Learners, ensuring that DLL learning facilitators receive the best training possible, and provide DLL parents with the support they need,” states Cheri Doria, Director of Preschools for Lindsay Schools. “The new school year brings the added uncertainty of COVID-19 and those parent fears add to the constant challenge of language barriers. This grant funding allows us to implement a hybrid model of support, empowering us to provide learning facilitators, DLLs, and families with the education, support, and resources that ensure future success for not only each child, but for the entire community.”

“We are pleased to partner with JBMF in supporting the youngest learners across the Central Valley,” says Steven Kellner Ed.D., Director of Program Sustainability and Growth for California Education Partners. “Our Pre-K to 3rd Grade Coherence networks, focused on early math and early literacy, will help districts support students by connecting quality preschool to top quality elementary education.”

All grants are part of the McClatchy Foundation's Growing Strong Learners initiative aimed at helping young dual language students succeed in their early education programs and enter Kindergarten at the same level as their native English-speaking peers.

These grants are a crucial part of our larger strategy,” says Heather Bernikoff, McClatchy Foundation Program Officer for Education. “They each complement and expand upon one another advancing us toward our audacious goal of supporting DLL students, their families and the educators who work with them across the entire Central Valley. It is a large goal, but with the partnership of districts, nonprofits, County Offices of Education and other funders, we intend to reach it.”

“The scale of this investment speaks to the urgency of meeting the needs of our youngest Dual Language Learners to ensure an early pathway to academic success, and reflects JBMF’s stance to make strategic and influential grants as we sunset,” adds McClatchy Foundation CEO Priscilla Enriquez. “Recent Census data underscore how the Valley’s makeup has changed, with these youngest learners representing its demographic future.”

For more information on Growing Strong Learners please visithttps://jbmcclatchyfoundation.org/initiatives/pre-k/.

Recommended for you