White House Recognizes ACE for Excellence in Hispanic Education



Contact: Mary Ellen Isaacs

Tel. 512-232-2286

Email: meisaacs@austin.utexas.edu

Date: 9/15/15

We have a new name! As of September 1, 2016, ACE: A Community for Education is now Literacy First.



WHO: ACE: A Community for Education, an early literacy program based at The University of TexasCharles A. Dana Center for Math and Science Education.

WHAT: The White House has named ACE as a Bright Spot in Hispanic Education. As a Bright Spot, ACE will be included in The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics’ Bright Spots in Hispanic Education National Online Catalog.

WHERE: To learn more about the Initiative and to view the Bright Spots in Hispanic Education national online catalog visit www.ed.gov/HispanicInitiative.

WHEN: The announcement was made by Alejandra Ceja, Executive Director of the Initiative on September 15, 2015 at the launch of Hispanic Heritage Month and in honor of the Initiative’s 25th anniversary in Washington, D.C.

WHY: ACE was one of over 200 organizations across the nation to be recognized as a Bright Spot by the Initiative. The UT Austin-based program sends trained AmeriCorps literacy tutors into 32 public elementary schools in Central Texas every year. Those tutors then work one-on-one with thousands of low-income students in kindergarten through second grade, making sure that they can read at grade level by third grade. Nearly 80% of the children that we work with are Hispanic, and our effective bilingual program enables Hispanic students who receive ACE tutoring to make significant progress in crucial reading skills by the end of the school year.

The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics was established in 1990 to address the educational disparities faced by the Hispanic community. With this Bright Spots announcement, the Initiative now seeks to encourage collaboration between stakeholders focused on similar issues in sharing data-driven approaches, promising practices, peer advice, and effective partnerships, ultimately resulting in increased support for the educational attainment of the Hispanic community, from cradle-to-career.

Direct Quote from Initiative Executive Director Alejandra Ceja: “There has been notable progress in Hispanic educational achievement, and it is due to the efforts of these Bright Spots in Hispanic Education, programs and organizations working throughout the country to help Hispanic students reach their full potential,” said Ceja.

Direct Quote from ACE Director Dr. Mary Ellen Isaacs: “ACE believes that all children deserve to be strong readers by third grade, and we are honored to be in the company of so many amazing organizations working to improve the lives of Hispanic children in our community.”

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