Local Eastern Students and Alums Assist in Eastern's Community Partners for Early Literacy (CPEL) Program
2012 Dec 18In 2008, Eastern Connecticut State University's Center for Early Childhood Education (CECE) was awarded a three-year, $3.9 million Early Reading First (ERF) grant from the U.S. Department of Education to implement the Community Partners for Early Literacy (CPEL) project. Eastern was one of only 31 agencies and public school districts throughout the United States to be chosen for "Early Reading First" grants out of nearly 400 applicants. In partnership with the Windham Early Childhood Center (part of the Windham Public Schools) and the Child and Family Development Resource Center (CFDRC) at Eastern, the CECE provided professional development and literacy coaching to 50 teachers and paraprofessionals and supported families in engaging in literacy activities at home. The CPEL program helped approximately 600 preschool-age children in Willimantic and provided Eastern undergraduate and graduate students from various majors with important experiential learning opportunities. The students worked as oral language assessors, classroom substitutes and literacy kit managers, and were considered critical to the project's success.