Contact: Wendel Sloan at 575.562.2253
PORTALES – Eastern New Mexico University's newest federally-funded grant is a partnership with tomorrow—the children of Bloomfield, Deming, Shiprock, Hagerman, Loving and Zuni, N.M.
Through a $1.5 million grant from the Office of English Language Acquisition, ENMU will help teachers in these rural, under-served New Mexico districts to close the achievement gap of their English language learners. Over the five years of Project Maestros (Teachers), at least 100 teachers will add TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages)endorsement to their credentials, and hundreds of students will benefit from these new techniques and pedagogies in their classrooms.
Project director Trina Lujan is an adjunct faculty member with ENMU's bilingual education program. An experienced educator on the K-12 and university levels, Lujan has been a federal programs and bilingual program director, teacher and principal, and has extensive experience with the fiscal management of grants and district budgets. Lujan holds master's and education specialist degrees.
Two ENMU faculty will work closely with the project. Romelia Hurtado de Vivas currently serves as graduate coordinator for education and Geni Flores taught for 12 years in Lovington before joining the ENMU faculty to coordinate the TESOL Endorsement Program. Both have helped to guide hundreds of New Mexico teachers to their TESOL endorsement. "Hundreds of teachers on the east side of New Mexico have completed this program and helped their students make that transition to English language fluency," said Flores. "ENMU is honored to reach out to districts who have asked for our help–and now we can bring this program to them."
This project, which will extend ENMU's reach to the northwest and western portions of the state, was strongly supported by the dean of the ENMU College of Education, Jerry Harmon. "We are gratified that this grant allows us to serve six school districts who are working so hard to help students," commented Harmon. "This program works well with Navajo or Spanish language speakers to assist English language acquisition." In Bloomfield (called Naabiani in Navajo). Shiprock, and Zuni (or Shiwinna), many students' home language is Navajo. School administrators in all six districts supported the University's grant application.
The project will cover the cost of materials, tuition and fees for teachers in the targeted districts to complete 12 hours of course work leading to TESOL endorsement. Working with colleagues in their schools with online and on-site support from ENMU faculty, teachers in these districts will also have the opportunities of summer institutes to share their teaching experiences with colleagues in other schools and districts.
ENMU has been offering TESOL endorsement since 1999 in a program ENMU developed with Socorro Herrera of Kansas State University. Herrera, a graduate of Eastern, designed the program with her professor at Eastern, Julia Rosa Emslie.
The program is a nationally recognized leader in the delivery of these pedagogies and techniques.
For more information, call Patrice Caldwell, executive director of Planning and Analysis at ENMU, at 575.562.2315.