Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Awards MITili and Harvard $30 Million Grant to Improve Childhood Literacy | MIT J-WEL

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Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Awards MITili and Harvard $30 Million Grant to Improve Childhood Literacy

A teacher with young students

Announced yesterday in MIT News, MIT's Integrated Learning Initiative (MITili), the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE), and Florida State University (FSU) have formed a partnership to address early childhood literacy. Researchers working with the "Reach Every Reader" initiative aim to achieve the following:

"To make sure every child learns to read well enough by the end of third grade to make learning more effective later in their education. This will be achieved through research on how personalized learning and intervention improve early childhood literacy. [This initiative will] develop rigorous scientific approaches to personalized learning for literacy...develop diagnostic tools and interventions to help young children at risk for literacy before they fail, and build capacity among educators, caregivers, and policy makers to advance ongoing conversations and instructional strategies around personalized learning."

MIT President L. Rafael Reif noted the long-term effects for a child who has difficulty reading:

"For a young child, struggling to read can be a crushing blow with lifelong consequences. Multiply that experience by millions of children, and it's a crisis for our society. At MIT, we approach the problem as scientists and engineers: by seeking to understand the brain science of how learning happens, and by building innovative technologies and solutions to help. We are delighted to be able to contribute in these ways to the exciting collaboration behind Reach Every Reader."

John Gabrieli, MITili director and the Grover Hermann Professor of Health Sciences and Technology, presented on the "Science of Learning" at our inaugural J-WEL Week in October 2017. Gabrieli discussed how personalized learning and adaptive technology can be effective at improving learner outcomes, and why it can sometimes have adverse and unintended consequences. He also delved into why the most recent findings from learning science impact everyone, from students in kindergarten to companies that want to upskill their workforce. 

We are excited to announce that J-WEL members will have the opportunity to hear more about the science of learning from MITili's Associate Director (and our officemate), Jeff Dieffenbach, at our upcoming J-WEL Week, which is in just a few weeks' time.