November 2011
Reading First: Early Literacy for Every Child
Many children enter school without adequate foundations in
vocabulary, ability to attune to the sounds of language,
knowledge of the alphabet, and the world of print. Research
shows these are critical precursors to reading proficiency. These
foundational skills may be particularly lacking in children from
low-income families and those who are English Language
Early Reading First (ERF) is a project of the U.S. Department of
Education, which provides funding to transform existing early
childhood education programs that work with children at-risk for
school failure into preschool centers of educational excellence.
The mission of ERF is to “ensure that all children enter
kindergarten with the necessary language, cognitive, and early
reading skills for continued success in school.”
Under the leadership of Project Director Sue Reed, the Cutler
Institute staff collaborate with Androscoggin Head Start, Catholic
Charities St. Louis Child Development Center, People’s Regional
Opportunity Program Head Start, and three local educational
agencies (LEAs) to implement the research-based curriculum,
Opening the World of Learning (OWL), in order to support
significant and sustainable change in curriculum, instruction,
classroom environment, parental involvement, professional
development and child and program level assessment required
to meet the proposed goals. Children's vocabulary and literacy
skills are measured by an external evaluator both pre- and postintervention of a research-based early language and literacy
curriculum in 14 preschool classrooms. Both quantitative and
qualitative data show that the program has made a significant
impact on children's school readiness skills and preschool
teachers' abilities to change their instructional strategies and
practices to impact these skills.
Women’s Literary History in America
Newsletter produced by the Office of Research Administration
and Development, under the leadership of Samantha LangleyTurnbaugh, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs –
Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity.
Researching Genetics and the Environment
USM Associate Professor of Computer Science Clare Bates
Congdon is part of a team of scientists throughout northern
New England that is researching how genetics and the
environment work together to trigger and prevent disease.
The team, led by Dartmouth College Medical School, received
an $11 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.
Other collaborators include the University of Maine, the
University of New Hampshire, the University of Vermont,
Harvard University's National Center for Biomedical Computing,
as well as the Jackson Laboratory, Mount Desert Island
Biological Lab and Maine Medical Center.
Her work focuses on development of powerful computational
approaches to identify non-coding DNA regions that alter
genetic mechanisms. The research could help lead to new
knowledge about the mechanisms of genomics and the
evolution of viruses.
She also is the recipient of a National Science Foundation (NSF)
$400,000, five-year CAREER grant. The NSF describes the
grants as its “…most prestigious awards in support of junior
faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through
outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of
education and research within the context of the mission of
their organizations.”
During the past several years, Professor Congdon has mentored
USM computer sciences students who have developed artificial
intelligence programs that have twice won competitions at the
World Congress of Computational Intelligence.
Eve Raimon, Professor of English and a member of the USM Women and Gender Studies Program has published articles on topics
ranging from higher education curriculum reform rhetoric to the interdisciplinary challenges of team-teaching "What is Race?"
The most extensive scholarship she has done is in the area of the intersection of American and African American women's literary
history. In 2004, she published the well-reviewed monograph The 'Tragic Mulatta' Revisited: Race and Nationalism in Nineteenth
Century Antislavery Fiction (Rutgers University Press). In 2007, she co-edited the collection Harriet Wilson's New England: Race,
Writing, & Region, with a forward by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Her current book project is tentatively titled: Beyond the Black Heritage Trail: Race, Place, and Public Memory in New England. In this
work, Raimon, together with her collaborator from The College of New Jersey, Cassandra Jackson, plan to investigate ways in which
different kinds of public history projects both celebrate black history and mask the history of exclusion and segregation of African
Americans in New England in favor of celebratory narratives. She is also co-authoring the essay “James Baldwin Abroad: Writing and
Directing Race and Sexuality in Turkey” for an upcoming issue of The African American Review.
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Researching Genetics and the Environment Reading First: Early