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Project CELLS

Western New York collaboration for English language learner success

Community initiative

Quick facts

Director/PI: Mary Jane Curry

Collaborators: Rochester City School District; Mid-West Regional Bilingual Education Resource Network; and Monroe 2-Orleans, Wayne-Finger Lakes, and Genesee Valley BOCES

Funding: U.S. Department of Education, Office of English Language Acquisition


The Western New York Collaboration for ELL Success (Project CELLS) is a collaborative partnership among the Warner School of Education, the Rochester City School District, Mid-West Regional Bilingual Education Resource Network, and Monroe 2-Orleans, Wayne-Finger Lakes and Genesee Valley BOCES that aims to provide students who are learning English with access to high-quality instruction across academic subjects and prepare them for success beyond high school. Project CELLS is dedicated to helping school personnel — including teachers, counselors and leaders — better serve English language learners, as well as increase the number of highly-qualified teachers certified in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. Funded by a five-year National Professional Development grant, Project CELLS offers the following: 1) scholarships for new and veteran teachers to earn TESOL certification; 2) professional development programs for Warner School of Education faculty as well as current TESOL and content-area teachers, counselors and school leaders; and 3) curriculum to help refugee and immigrant students with little experience of formal education understand their choices within the U.S. educational system.