Project Moving Forward Wins Golden Bell Award

Graduate School of Education's Linda Ventriglia-Navarrette recognized for outstanding educational initiatives and governance practices that work to meet students’ ever-changing needs.

Project Moving Forward is now part of the curriculum in more than 100 schools in eight states.

Project Moving Forward, an innovative language learning and professional development program created and directed by Linda Ventriglia-Navarrette from within UC Riverside’s Graduate School of Education, received a 2017 Golden Bell Award from the California School Boards Association during a San Diego ceremony held Thursday, Nov. 30.

The annual Golden Bell Awards program recognizes outstanding educational initiatives and governance practices that work to meet students’ ever-changing needs in school districts throughout California. This year, a 17-person panel of judges sifted through 250 entries in 19 categories, eventually narrowing down the pool of statewide winners to just 56.

Project Moving Forward received the award for its multilevel, districtwide partnership with Riverside County’s Moreno Valley Unified School District (MVUSD). The award was one of four given in the category “Closing the Achievement Gap,” which recognizes programs that display successful models, culturally relevant pedagogy, professional development, and supporting data to help narrow and close the achievement gap for underperforming student groups. These groups include economically disadvantaged students who enter school with a dominant language other than English.

The fast-paced program seeks to close the achievement gap by focusing on low-income and economically disadvantaged kids who enter school with a dominant language other than English.

Marrying theory with practice, the initiative seeks to close the achievement gap by focusing on training teachers to deliver a dynamic, fast-paced vocabulary and integrated English language development program aligned with California’s state standards.

During interactive sessions, students boost their vocabularies, improve their English oral language fluency, and develop literacy skills including ANALYZE phonics using a Ventriglia-Navarrette-developed system called the Rule of Three or RAP, which stands for the Rehearsal, Analysis, and Production of words.

Launched in the MVUSD in 2012, Project Moving Forward is now part of the curriculum in more than 100 schools in eight states. And with the recent acquisition of a $2.7 million grant from the Department of Education’s Office of English Language Acquisition under the National Professional Development (NPD) program, the program is poised for expansion.

“We’ve introduced rigor to our kids — beginning at the transitional kindergarten, or TK, and kindergarten levels — and that’s made an enormous difference,” Ventriglia-Navarrette said.

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