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Federal grant boosts Head Start teachers
Photos and Story by James Hill
PORTLAND, Ore. – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded Portland Community College a five-year, $748,973 grant, the colleges Grants Office announced.The grant will provide education and training to Hispanic Head Start teachers in Migrant Head Start and other Head Start classrooms who have limited-English proficiency and who work with substantial numbers of Spanish-speaking children. Training started Oct. 1.This project, Project Adelante Maestros (Go Forward Teachers), will assist 145 limited-English proficient, Spanish-speaking Head Start teachers in building their English skills and achieve requirements for their early childhood associate’s degree. It will also provide bilingual early childhood education courses to 40 Migrant Head Start teachers in rural areas through interactive distance learning technology. The grant will also include English-speaking Head Start teachers as well. By the end of the project, they will attain their associates degrees."PCCs Hispanic Head Start teacher-training program has been exceptionally successful in meeting the needs of the community," said Paul Hill, interim Sylvania Campus president. "We are very grateful for this federal grant that will allow us to continue that excellent work and strengthen our partnership with the community. It just shows that people working hard together, with the right resources, can do wonderful things."This project not only supports Spanish-speaking Head Start teachers, but is integral to supporting the cultural competency goals for all students and staff in the Early Education and Family Studies department. It also builds upon the college’s current Hispanic Head Start teacher-training program. It will expand existing partnerships with the Oregon Child Development Coalition and the Community Action Organization of Washington County. It also creates new partnerships with Blue Mountain and Columbia Gorge Community Colleges. Sixty-five percent of the total project will be financed by federal grant funds.For more information about this grant, call 503-977-4853.