Ellen R. Hathaway Elementary School Receives Grant to Support Student Literacy

Ellen R. Hathaway Elementary School has received a $14,951 grant from the New Bedford Education Foundation to support student literacy through project-based learning.

Each grade K-5 will be assigned a chapter that will create a book focused on the cultural diversity of the student body at Hathaway, as well as including key curriculum topics from across school subjects. Teachers will support this project as they work with students to build their writing skills and introduce them to the full writing curriculum. Students in grades 3-5 will create a monthly school newspaper on student-friendly topics that will be posted on Hathaway’s website.

Through this grant, a set of 30 Chromebook tablets will be split among classrooms in order to provide students with access to technology at a 5 to 1 ratio in the classrooms. Students will also be teamed with students from different grade levels so that older students can support younger students’ writing skills, with teachers from different grades collaborating on curriculum.

As part of Hathaway School’s mission for all students to be proficient readers and writers, students’ progress will be measured through their writing prompts as well as performance in English Language Arts (ELA) units. In addition, at Hathaway, 60% of students are English Learners, and research indicates that increased access to nonfiction materials and visuals improve vocabulary and background for students’ in ELA.

“We are grateful for the support of the New Bedford Education Foundation to the students of Hathaway School,” said Superintendent Pia Durkin. “This focused, literacy-based program will increase time that students and teachers spend on literacy, tying in their other core subjects, which research has shown can improve their proficiency in English Language Arts.”

“In keeping with our mission to enrich education beyond what can be funded within the local school budget, we are pleased to be able to provide funding that will target one school and to help make student academic experiences exceptional and transforming. We look forward to seeing this project come to life,” said Neal Weiss, Board Co-Chair of the New Bedford Education Foundation.