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Edinboro University receives grant from PNC to support English Language Clinic in Erie

12/17/2013

The Edinboro University Foundation has been awarded $12,470 in grant funding from the PNC Foundation to support the development of the Edinboro University English Language Clinic.

 Under the direction of Dr. Heather-Lee Baron, Middle & Secondary Education Graduate Program Head in EU’s Department of Middle & Secondary Education, the English Language Clinic will be a direct service English language program for underserved learners that will address both school readiness and English proficiency.

The Clinic will be centrally located in the city of Erie at the Perseus House Charter School of Excellence (PHCSE), 1511 Peach St., and is open to all Erie residents.

The English Language Clinic will provide services to both adult and school-age learners, and will prepare future educators through an authentic field experience, Dr. Baron said. EU’s School of Education has been ranked high in educational offerings, teacher success and teacher employability, and the Clinic is a natural progression of educating future teachers where there is a great need.  The Foundation will work to find additional funding to support this three-year initial project that is designed to be a model for additional clinics or implementation into the public school curriculum or other nonprofit educational offerings.

The general focus is on school readiness, but the larger emphasis of the clinic will be on generational success and openness of educators to learn how best to support English language learners (ELLs). The ELLs participating in the English Language Clinic will be recruited from the PHCSE, the Erie City School District and the Multicultural Community Resource Center.

 Pennsylvania is one of the leading states for refugee resettlement but has limited educational options for ELLs. The most recent data from the PHCSE shows that English language learners now are 25 percent of its overall student population. Despite the statistical evidence of the growing presence of refugees and people whose first language is not English in the Erie area, there are very few programs that offer English as a second language programs for children, adults and teacher preparation. 

 The courses for the English Language Clinic will be offered once a week from 5-7:30 p.m. for the duration of an academic semester (15 weeks), August to December 2014 and January to May 2015. Additional language support for children and adults will be offered, and participants will receive dinner at the end of each session.