RD432 - Progress Report on the Activities of The Literacy Lab’s Leading Men Fellowship SY2021-22 – August 1, 2022

Executive Summary:

This report details the SY2021-22 program activities and outcomes of the Leading Men Fellowship’s work in Portsmouth and Richmond. The program, which is administered by The Literacy Lab, places recent high-school graduates of a minority background and new to the field of education in Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI) or Head Start classrooms of participating local school divisions or community-based early childhood centers, where they provide evidence-based literacy support to at-risk pre-kindergarten students.

According to eligibility criteria, the program must provide training, coaching, and professional development to Fellowship participants (hereafter referred to as “Fellows"), place Fellows for at least 800 paid hours within a pre-kindergarten classroom during a school year, work to diversify the educator pipeline, and assist Fellows in understanding the teacher education and licensure process in Virginia. The Literacy Lab shall partner with school divisions or community-based early childhood centers in Richmond and Portsmouth.

The program has three primary goals: increasing kindergarten readiness for 3- and 4-year-olds in at-risk schools, providing positive role models for students in at-risk schools, and diversifying the educator pipeline by introducing young men of color to careers in education.

The program in Richmond and Portsmouth has achieved progress on all three of these goals. Students made significant improvement on kindergarten readiness scores, program participants completed a meaningful year of workforce development in education and most are now pursuing careers in this area, and the Fellows provided positive role models for the preschool students.