The University of Nebraska at Kearney has been awarded its largest grant to date to partner with public schools in the central Platte River region of Nebraska. The $784,178 grant will help to increase capacity for educating students with Limited English Proficiency (LEP).

“High levels of immigration to the area have dramatically increased the number of new students whose first language is not English. Providing appropriate services to these students will help them reach their potential as students, and ultimately members of the community,” said Dr. Marilyn Hadley, Dean of the College of Education.

The Platte River Corridor project will provide training to 150 teachers, increase bilingual resources in school systems, and establish an information network across the region to support teachers working with LEP students. By supporting teachers in regular classrooms, this project will benefit the education of all students.

Senator Chuck Hagel reinforced the importance of the grant by stating “I applaud the Department of Education and the University of Nebraska at Kearney for their efforts to help guarantee an education of the highest quality for students in Nebraska.”

UNK has a longstanding record of providing excellent training to future teachers, as well as providing opportunities to the professional educators in the area. “This project will help UNK respond to a critical need in our area,” said Dr. Hadley.

Tami Moore, who wrote the proposal, said “It’s wonderful to have a federal agency recognize the quality of work we’re doing at UNK with an award of this size.” She went on to say “these schools have been doing so much with such limited resources. It is exciting to be able to provide them this kind of support.”

UNK will partner with 10 schools to deliver the program over the next four years.