The California Community Foundation has awarded two Loyola Marymount University programs a $100,000 grant to help improve the reading skills of elementary students in the Westchester community.

The Family of Schools and the Center for Equity for English Learners plans to use the grant to provide training to elementary school teachers in five schools that are a part of the university’s Family of Schools. The training is designed to give teachers a better cultural understanding of their students and instructional techniques that will enhance students’ academic performance, LMU officials said.

The Family of Schools, which was established three years ago to help neighboring schools, helps improve academic performance through professional development, school governance and partnerships. These schools have a diverse ethnic and socioeconomic student population that faces a variety of challenges learning to speak and write English.

“This grant helps LMU more fully realize the vision we had for the Family of Schools partnership with our neighbors,” said Shane Martin, dean of the School of Education. “We will be able to add to the variety of programs that use our expertise and innovation to help close the education gap experienced by many children in our local schools.”

The Center for Equity for English Learners is a professional development and research program that works to define best teaching practices for students who are learning English. It also offers training programs for English Language educators.

The California Community Foundation is a nonprofit organization committed to improving the lives of Los Angeles County residents by helping individuals, families and organizations meet their own philanthropic goals.

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