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$1.78 Million in Grants Awarded to Support the Learning of Multilingual Students in California

Emerging Bilingual Collaborative

Grants made by the Emerging Bilingual Collaborative, a sponsored project of New Venture Fund, will help nine local education agencies support professional learning opportunities for educators serving Multilingual Learners from pre-K through Grade 3.

Los Angeles, CA – The Emerging Bilingual Collaborative, a sponsored project of the New Venture Fund backed by a coalition of five California-based philanthropic funders, is pleased to announce $1.78 million in grants to support nine local educational agencies and county offices of education across California in supporting educators to implement high-quality instructional practices for Multilingual Learners, from pre-K through Grade 3.

Multilingual Learners is an umbrella term that includes both Dual Language Learners (children up to age 5) and English Learners (students in the K-12 system). California is home to more than 3 million Multilingual Learners, the largest in the nation. Despite significant progress in recent years, more efforts are needed to prepare and support teachers to foster biliteracy and meet the unique learning needs of Multilingual Learners.

In September 2021, Early Edge California and partners created the Multilingual Learning Toolkit, an online hub that features a vetted selection of resources and best practices specifically for educators, administrators, and teacher education faculty whose work supports educators pre-K through Grade 3. The toolkit was created in collaboration with researchers, practitioners, advocacy organizations, state agencies, and philanthropic organizations from California and across the nation.

Grants from the Emerging Bilingual Collaborative will support nine diverse local education agencies and county offices of education throughout California to integrate instructional practices and resources from the Multilingual Learning Toolkit into their educator professional learning systems. For example – Camino Nuevo Charter Academy, a Los Angeles-based network of charter schools, is implementing a new English and Spanish curriculum to better align with its bilingual education model. Semitropic School District, a consortium of five rural K-8 districts, is hiring an expert coach to support teachers by co-planning, modeling, and observing lessons. In addition, grantees will build a common understanding of the unique needs and assets of multilingual students, and share lessons learned as part of a community of practice, facilitated by Education First.

The awarded grantees are:

  • Camino Nuevo Charter Academy
  • Franklin-McKinley School District
  • Fullerton School District
  • Oakland Unified School District
  • Orange County Department of Education
  • Salinas City Elementary School District
  • San Mateo County Superintendent of Schools
  • Semitropic School District
  • Tehama County Department of Education

“Multilingual Learners (MLs) are a diverse population with rich linguistic and cultural assets, yet far too many MLs lack access to high-quality education,” said Sandy Herz, President of Sobrato Philanthropies. “We are pleased to support the Emerging Bilingual Collaborative in working to supplement progress California is already making to improve high-quality instruction for MLs and give these young learners the opportunities they deserve.”

“Through the creation of its grant program, the Emerging Bilingual Collaborative is providing our state with an amazing opportunity to create a PreK-3 system centered in equity for all kids, especially those who speak a language other than English at home. Multilingual children need support now more than ever with the pandemic creating further inequities in their learning experiences. Let’s build an assets-based approach to teaching Multilingual Learners as a permanent part of California’s education system, one with an anti-bias focus and that is culturally and linguistically responsive to the needs of these students and their families,” said Patricia Lozano, Executive Director of Early Edge California.

About the Emerging Bilingual Collaborative

The Emerging Bilingual Collaborative, a sponsored project of New Venture Fund, was established in 2019 to support educators to deliver high-quality instruction to Multilingual Learners attending PreK through Grade 3. The Emerging Bilingual Collaborative is supported by the California Community Foundation, Heising-Simons Foundation, James B. McClatchy Foundation, Silver Giving Foundation, and Sobrato Philanthropies. The Collaborative’s work is informed by an in-depth analysis, conducted by Education First, of pressing needs across the state and consultations with leading experts on ML research, policy and practice.

For further information, contact:

Kathleen Dutta | (206)-257-8265 |

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