Project Moving Forward
Project Moving Forward, funded by a $1.9 million federal grant, is focused on schools and communities working together to close the achievement gap through an innovative program that targets vocabulary along with language and literacy development.
Despite the fact that literacy instruction is a significant part of the student’s day,large numbers of English learners and other underserved minorities experience a large achievement gap in literacy achievement when compared to their middle class peers. Project Moving Forward identified the achievement gap experienced by English learners and other underserved minorities as a word gap. Hirsch (2014) along with other researchers found that poor children have a massive vocabulary deficit that today’s U.S. education system does not address. Yet, it is vocabulary that has the highest correlation with school success.
Project Moving Forward established an innovative instructional program labeled the RULE of 3 or RAP to close this achievement gap starting in kindergarten. Short for Rehearse, Analyze and Produce, the RAP is based on 12 years of research by Dr. Linda Navarrette, a Harvard –educated researcher at the University of California at Riverside.
The innovative program designed to Close the Gap with the RAP included all the stakeholders in the community including administrators, teachers and parents. The program provided 60 hours of teacher training and coaching, where teachers learned how to increase students’ academic achievement through vocabulary instruction. Students were engaged in the process through a new active learning system in which they rehearsed, analyzed and produced new words on a daily basis. Parents were involved in conversational literacy nights to increase their interactions with their children.