loader image

Growing Strong Learners: Firebaugh-Las Deltas Unified School District

Firebaugh granteeFirebaugh-Las Deltas Unified School district is addressing JBMF’s key pillars on several fronts.  In order to build educator capacity, Firebaugh’s PreK teachers now take part in all relevant district trainings alongside K-12 teachers.  In addition, they have hired an English Learner Preschool Academic Coach to support teachers in language development lesson design, instructional strategies, and best practices for English Learners.  They are working to engage more parents by hiring a parent outreach liaison and providing classes on early literacy. Finally, they have teamed up with Abriendo Puertas, an organization that works to support parents as leaders in the lives of their children.

Their goals include

  • Incorporating Firebaugh’s PreK teachers in all relevant district trainings alongside K-12 teachers
  • Deploying English Learner Preschool Academic Coaches to support teachers in best practices for English Learners
  • Engaging a parent outreach liaison to reach parents
  • Partnering with community-based Abriendo Puertas to support parents as leaders in the lives of their children.

Snapshot of plans year 2-3: Firebaugh is exhibiting leadership in the early education space by creating a Professional Learning Community (PLC) among their preschool educators and other childcare providers in the community.  This partnership will help ensure all  children are ready for Kindergarten, no matter what program they attended.

Firebaugh grantee


Building Brilliant Futures for English Learners



The James B. McClatchy Foundation has awarded grants to school districts in the Central Valley since 2009 with the primary purpose of advancing the academic achievement of the Valley’s English Learners.  In 2017, JBMF (then the Central Valley Foundation) formed the English Learner Advisory Group in order to identify potential high impact grantmaking opportunities for English Learners in the Central Valley. One such opportunity was improving the quality of and increasing access to prekindergarten programs. As a result, the “Growing Strong Learners” initiative launched in 2018.   

The approach of the Growing Strong Learners initiative is asset-based, and prioritizes home language and culture, as well as English acquisition.  In this vein, JBMF supports school systems, programs, and partners as they leverage the strengths of the Valley’s diverse learners and their families. The initiative’s goal is that all Dual Language Learners in the Central Valley enter Kindergarten at the same level or beyond that of their native English-speaking peers and are supported by lasting structures that ensure they thrive throughout their educational journeys.

Learn More