VERIZON PROJECT SUCCESS
In 2004, the Verizon Foundation awarded a $127,000 grant to the Gevirtz Research Center and its partners for Project SUCCESS: Sustaining University and Community Collaboration to promote Educational Success in Schools. Verizon Project Success built upon the work of the Verizon OPTIONS Initiative to offer integrated and targeted services addressing the multiple literacy needs of families in Isla Vista. In addition, it extended those services to other schools in the Goleta Union School District and the Santa Barbara School Districts-including Isla Vista, Ellwood and La Patera Elementary Schools, and Cesar Chavez Charter School, as well as their surrounding communities. Project SUCCESS was able to expand adult English language development, school readiness for pre-school children, computer literacy, tutoring, mentoring, parent leadership, advocacy and involvement in schools. As a result, Project SUCCESS had a cumulative increase impact on 300 additional adults, 430 children, 15 teachers, and 10 schools/sites. It also added four new partners and 70 additional undergraduate mentors.
The program objectives were to:
University-school-community partnerships can be an effective way of establishing valuable support systems for intergenerational family literacy programs. Verizon Project SUCCESS is a research-based model family literacy program that has been proven to be successful in building linkages among a unique consortium of ten university-school-community partners to address the complex literacy needs of English Language Learners and their families.
This project drew together the following multiple partners from the university and community:
Verizon Project SUCCESS offered integrated and targeted services that addressed the multiple literacy needs of diverse families in the Isla Vista community. This value-added family literacy program included adult English language development, school readiness for pre-school children, parent support strategies to increase student learning, parent and child literacy, in-school and at-home tutoring/mentoring, parent leadership and advocacy, and parent involvement in schools.
The overlapping and integrative nature of the project offered an extensive array of services provided jointly by the consortium of ten partners. The various programs offered included the following:
Gevirtz Research Center Family Literacy Program/Isla Vista Youth Project’s School Readiness Program:
This class for adults and their preschool age children continues to be offered three mornings a week for three hours at school. The focus is English as a Second Language (ESL) development for adults, while preschool age children learn English and school readiness skills. Adults also learn strategies for helping their children at home with literacy development and schoolwork.
Parents, Children and Computers Project (PCCP):
The Parents, Children, and Computers Option is a computer literacy class that helps parents learn how to use computers, software, the Internet, and related technologies to publish articles and stories related to the interests of family members. Children participate in homework and other learning activities, mentored by university students, and join their parents in computer learning and publishing activities.
Community Affairs Board Corps:
This program places university students as tutors/mentors in homes and elementary classrooms.
Engaging Latino Communities for Education (ENLACE):
ENLACE y Avance works to increase opportunities for Latino students to enter and complete college and to boost the involvement of Latino parents in local schools through mentoring relationships and family advocacy. Parents participate in the ENLACE Padres Adelante program, a 16-week, bilingual leadership training program in which parents acquire a deeper knowledge of the local school system and learn about parental and student rights and responsibilities.
Although funding for the comprehensive and collaborative Verizon effort has ended, each partner has independently sustained its programmatic emphasis. Participation across programs continues to be shared, with the value-added dimension that multiple learning opportunities provide.
Dr. Hsiu-Zu Ho and Dr. Carol Dixon served as Principal Investigators for Project SUCCESS. The study investigated the ways in which the various components of Project SUCCESS have impacted families who have taken advantage of multiple services offered by a consortium of partners including the Gevirtz Research Center’s Family Literacy Program/Isla Vista Youth Projects’ School Readiness Program; Parents, Children and Computers Project (PCCP); Community Affairs Board Corps; and Engaging Latino Communities for Education (ENLACE).
The study employed both quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis approaches to answer the research questions. The quantitative methods incorporated a battery of pre- and post-assessments and surveys including the following: English Vocabulary and Structures Test, Directions Assessment, English Writing Sample, Computer Assessment, and Parent Surveys. Qualitative methods included: videotapes, audiotapes, field notes, individual and focus group interviews, portfolios, and computer generated written products.
Participants in Project SUCCESS included over 680 English Language Learners and their adult family members from two participating local school districts. Preschool age and K-6 students were recruited by the individual service programs, classroom teachers’ recommendations, school flyers, and community-based organizations. The majority of the students qualified for free and reduced-price lunch.
The study found that parent participants increased their levels of English language and computer literacy, as well as acquisition of strategies for supporting children’s academic success. Children in the program developed new language proficiencies, and their parents increased literacy-building activities.
A Sample of Specific Findings:
100% of adult participants showed improvement
- Direction Assessment (to measure comprehension of typical homework with school-age children)
100% of adult participants showed improvement
- School Readiness (to determine early learning competencies)
80% of participating preschoolers showed improvement
- Student Support Strategies (to determine level of engagement with school-age children)
90% of adult participants worked closely with school-age children -
Chancellor Yang, Denise Segura, and Claudia Martinez congratulate graduates of the Padres Adelante Program.