Project ALERTA
Project ALERTA was launched in 1988 at UMass Boston as an enrichment program for struggling Latino students and English-language learners in the Boston Public Schools (BPS). With high school dropout rates for Latinos in Boston—and the nation—approaching 50 percent, founder Lucia Mayerson-David had an idea that seemed radical at the time: For these students to get through high school and into universities, they should start developing their academic talents early.

More than 20 years later, Project ALERTA, along with its sister program Talented and Gifted (TAG), has proved that reaching students early does make a difference. Targeting BPS students in grades 3 through 5, the program implements a project-based, thematic curriculum that creatively weaves together core academic subjects with activities such as theater, drawing and painting, technology, scientific experiments, creative writing, dancing, and more.

To date, Project ALERTA has served more than 3,000 students in the Boston area. Students report that participating in the program has helped them apply themselves to their studies, improve their grades, and work more effectively as part of a team. Teachers in the program report that virtually all of their students who are English-language learners demonstrate increased proficiency in reading and writing English.

www.umb.edu/alerta_award
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