UCI Literacy Program Gets $14.7 Million Grant for Expansion

A literacy program that has helped improve reading and writing skills in Southern California for the past 22 years will now expand to six additional states thanks to a five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

UCI’s Pathway to Academic Success Project began in the in the Santa Ana Unified School District in 1996 and has now been implemented in 10 school districts in SoCal. It is a literacy program for grades 7 through 11 that emphasizes language and writing skills for English learners and at-risk students.

With the new $14.7 million grant, the program is expanding to the Tustin Unified School District, followed by schools in Arizona, Illinois, Minnesota, Nevada, Texas, and Wisconsin. The expansion will include 240 teachers and 109,200 students, according to a press release.

“Pathway is based on the science of education,” said the project’s creator, Carol Booth Olson. “Cognitive strategies instruction reinforces the connections between reading and writing and empowers teachers with the tools they need to help kids. It’s critical to close the achievement gaps among high-needs students by developing their analytical and comprehension skills so they’re better prepared for postsecondary education.”