More than 25% of the students entering public school in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties are English learners—the vast majority of these children are Hispanic. Facing a daunting achievement gap, these children encounter higher drop out rates: up to eight times those of non-Hispanic white students in some districts in Silicon Valley. Teachers need both training and resources to help their Spanish-speaking ELL students develop the language and literacy skills they need to succeed.
Sobrato Philanthropies developed an innovative Pre-K to 3rd grade capacity-building program for Silicon Valley teachers to address the needs of Spanish-speaking EL students. The Sobrato Early Academic Language Model is a replicable model of professional development and program design aligned with Common Core standards, that enables students to attain age-appropriate literacy in both English and Spanish (wherever possible), and a grade-level mastery of academic material—becoming more motivated, confident learners by the end of 3rd grade.