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Whittier College Professor Awarded $120,000 Grant from the California Community Foundation

April 1, 2015

Whittier College has been awarded a $120,000 grant from the California Community Foundation (CCF) to assist Associate Professor of Education Ivannia Soto Hinman with the launch of the Institute for Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Teaching (ICLRT) and piloting new tools for English Language Learners (ELLs.)

The two-year grant will fund the launch of the Institute whose mission it is to promote relevant research and develop academic resources for ELLs and Standard English Learners (SELs) via linguistically and culturally responsive teaching practices. ICLRT will also provide research-based and practitioner-oriented professional development services, tools, and resources for K-12 systems and teacher education programs serving ELLs and SELs.

“The impetus of my research has been my mother’s story, which represents the stories of many immigrants and ELLs when they enter our school system. I look forward to the significant impact that ICLRT will have on the process of language acquisition for many more ELLs," said Soto Hinman.

The grant partner district, Whittier City School District (WCSD), will also support the piloting of new tools such as an app and a teacher recognition process with ELLs. Three target schools Phelan, Sorensen, and West Whittier Elementary Schools have been selected to receive specialized professional development services due to their high number of ELLs. Although ELLs represent 20% of the overall student population in WCSD, the three target schools serve between 30-57% ELLs.

The California Community Foundation stewards more than $1.4 billion in total assets and manages nearly 1,600 charitable foundations, funds and legacies. CCF supports organizations that tackle issues including education, health care, housing and economic opportunity, civic engagement and the arts.

 “ICLRT’s mission-critical work fits with CCF’s work to improve the lives of the most vulnerable members of our community,” said CCF Senior Program Officer Peter Rivera.