Project ExcEL Partners: RSHM Life Center

On August 26, 2014, Sleepy Hollow’s RSHM LIFE Center hosted the Project ExcEL Partners meeting. The meeting focused on administrative and programmatic issues.

In designing Project ExcEL, UCLA Center X recognized the need for community support, as language learning for students takes place far beyond the walls of the classroom.  The project (and the students served) is fortunate to have RSHM as a partner in this work — an established member of the community long committed to serving vulnerable populations and fostering social justice.

The Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary is a community of women who seek to direct themselves where “life is vulnerable, opportunities are scarce and human dignity is threatened.” Following this mission the LIFE Center (Learning is for Everyone) was created in 1995 to provide family-oriented services.  In Westchester County, these services include tutoring, childcare, language lessons, and legal services, particularly for recent immigrants. The Center welcomes and serves people of all faiths and cultures.

As a part of Project ExcEL, the LIFE Center will provide Tarrytown and Ossining ELLs enrichment and tutoring, as well as college and career counseling. The whole-family, community oriented approach of the Center will also be able to provide supports for students in legal matters, as well as personal and emotional needs not related to academics, but certainly influencing them. English Learners and their families face a litany of issues far beyond the school day, and the LIFE Center will be pivotal in addressing them.

Center X staff introduced a set of reporting tools for partners and coaches in an effort to streamline efforts and ensure the necessary compliance information is gathered for reporting to the Department of Education.  Each partner also provided a summary and update of what they had done so far, and what their plans were for the immediate future.

The ExcEL Partners team serves:

    1) As an advisory board for the overall project, reviewing progress and offering suggestions for improving services.
    2) As a developer services and approaches that benefit the EL students, their families and their communities in the target schools and districts.
    3) As a student intervention clearinghouse, offering suggestions for services and interventions that will support struggling (ie, Tier 2 or Tier 3) EL students in the project schools.