California Early Literacy
Learning (CELL) was initiated in 1994 as a project of the California
State University, San Bernardino, College of Education and the Foundation
for California State University, San Bernardino. The project was
initiated to respond to the professional development needs in literacy
learning in primary grades (PreK-Grade 3) for schools in southern
California. The Foundation for California Early Literacy Learning
was established in 1997. The Foundation changed California to Comprehensive
in the title in 2003 to more accurately reflect its work in various
states. The Foundation is an independent organization and its sole
mission is the development of professional training and related
services to support whole school reform. The Foundation developed
Extended Literacy Learning (ExLL) in 1997 to provide similar support
for Grades 3-8 and Second Chance at Literacy Learning in 1999 to
support Grades 6-12. These programs of professional development
where designed primarily as reading/language arts reform efforts.
Beginning in 2001 the Foundation began a major expansion of scope
to include services necessary to support whole school reform. Since
its inception, Stanley L.
Swartz has served as the Project Director and Adria F. Klein
as Trainer and Project Coordinator.
The CELL/ExLL/Second Chance models recognize the importance of integrating
various components of reform efforts. These include providing high-quality
professional development to support a comprehensive plan for schoolwide
change. Inservice trainings are focused on the improvement of instruction
using scientifically-based teaching methods, assessment that both
informs teaching and ensures accountability, support for site level
leadership, integrated curriculum, and parental involvement.
Improvement of Instruction
The model uses the accepted research base to identify teaching methods
that are organized into a framework of instruction. The importance
of literacy for all learning is emphasized. Inservice trainings
are intensive and involve capacity building at the site and follow-up
to ensure successful implementation. An important element of this
training is the integration of curricular areas as well as the alignment
of teaching methods across grade levels. Classroom organization
and management are also considered important to the improvement
Support is provided to sites to use assessments as both a vehicle
to help teachers make effective decisions about their instruction
and to accomplish increases in achievement levels required by various
state tests. Specific support for developing strategies for test-taking
is also provided.
Training is provided that supports the site administration for schoolwide
change as well as the development of a site facilitator that has
shared responsibility for model implementation. This capacity building
effort is recognized as an important element in sustaining school
Training specific to the role of parents in supporting the school
program for their children is organized to help teachers maximize
the benefit of this involvement. Various activities are designed
for the model that support the overall whole school reform process.
The Foundation for Comprehensive Early Literacy Learning provides
professional development to schools that are committed to whole
school reform. The commitment to this reform includes changes in
the instructional program, alignment of teaching methods and curriculum,
adjustments in site management and the role of leadership, and increasing
the involvement of parents with the schooling of their children.
The CELL/ExLL/Second Chance model is one that places a high level
of confidence in the ability of school staffs to accomplish this
reform. Rather than using scripted programs, the model focuses on
using professional development to support teacher decision making
and the development of a site based team to lead reform efforts.
The model is also committed to developing capacity for each participating
school. It is through this capacity that whole school reform can
be supported over the long term.