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Projects and Grant Activity

Navarro Academy Early Childhood Development Center

The goal of this project was to build a child development center from the ground up that would showcase academic programs for 3-4 year old students. It would also serve about 90 children and function as a laboratory for SAISD teachers and UTSA early education majors. More Details

 


Jose Cardenas Child Development Center

The goal of this project was to renovate a 4,500 sq.ft. building and playground. Renovations would include air conditioning, roof, walls, and paint. Suggested models for a new playground, facade, and drop off zone would be proposed in collaboration with the UTSA School of Architecture.

 


Small Business Development Workshops

The goal of this project was to provide the tools and information on potential small business development to teen parents by providing business advice in a consistent, efficient, and positive manner.

 


Computer Literacy Classes

Monthly classes are held at the Vista Verde Community Learning Center that focus on the most basic of computer parts and functions. Computer training will increase exposure to employment opportunities, and enhances communication.

 


Parent-Make & Take

The goal of this project is to teach parents educational activities that can be used at home. Activities focus on letter and sound recognition, rhyming, math skills, and reading comprehension.

 


Foster Care Alumni Housing Project

The goal of this project was to understand the housing needs of Foster Care Alumni and provide recommendations to community agencies. Approximately 25-75% of foster care youth end up homeless. Information is difficult to retain as they age out of care.

 


Family, Friends, & Neighbors

The goal of this project is to conduct interviews with the community to find out specific needs of lower income, informal child care. Present information and make recommendations to promote development of new programs for child care providers.

 


Early Childhood Teacher Initiative

City of San Antonio (CoSA)

The Early Childhood Teacher Initiative is an educational resource center to assist preschool teachers, teacher assistants and other early childhood professionals pursue higher education. We assists early education teachers/students with college admissions, financial aid, advising, registration and any other information they require. With funding from the City of San Antonio Consolidated Human and Workforce Services Department it has allowed use to offer Summer Institutes for Early Childhood Educators that provide college credit courses for early childhood professionals. The aim of the Institutes is to enhance research-based knowledge on child development, teaching strategies, early language and literacy, and child behavior management. The Institutes allow participants to earn 12 hours of college credit toward a degree in Early Childhood Education, provide assistance in degree planning, and establish networks of support to promote college success.


Infant Language Acquisition of Infants in Bilingual Contexts

National Science Foundation - Learning in Informal and Formal Environments (LIFE) 

The University of Washington, Seattle collaborated with the UTSA-CAPRI to study infant language acquisition in bilingual contexts.   The UTSA team identified the participants; conducted qualitative open-ended interviews with parents about who spoke English and Spanish about their thoughts regarding bilingualism, and strategies they used to promote bilingualism in their homes; conducted the MacArthur Vocabulary and Concepts inventory every month in the homes in English and Spanish; and tested the children’s overall development on a standardized developmental assessment instrument. The University of Washington researchers visited UTSA to test the brain waves of the infants at six months in response to sounds of English and Spanish and children’s brain responses to words in English and Spanish at age two. The results were published in the Journal of Phonetics and showed that infants exposed to more than one language with more intensity had larger vocabularies at age two. These results support the promotion of bilingual language exposure from very early ages and refute the idea that bilingualism will delay language development/reading readiness. The study is also positively related to the literature that shows that the greater the vocabulary of children (in one or more languages), the stronger reading readiness.

 


Inman Christian Center (ICC) - Charity Ball Association

The UTSA-CAPRI examined the efficiency of early childhood teacher professional development in schools not associated with a public school system.  The Inman Christian Center (ICC), the focus of this study, is an independent early childhood development center which serves low-income Hispanic families who reside in economically and educationally disadvantaged areas in San Antonio.  CAPRI provided ICC teachers mentorship and intensive weekend group early childhood education training sessions at UTSA.  CAPRI conducted pre and post tests and measured outcomes with the Infant and Toddler Environmental Rating Scale-Revised (ITERS-R) and the Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scale-Revised (ECERS-R). This research demonstrates that providing professional development opportunities reinforced with teacher mentoring practiced within a humanistic approach and involving problem solving skills can enrich the quality of early childhood programs.

 


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services/Administration for Children & Families Grant/subcontract with BCFS

UTSA CAPRI partnered with BCFS, a non-profit organization serving foster youth transitioning out of care throughout Texas, to implement a two-year assement of services to foster youth. The project, one of only 18 funded throughout the United States by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services / Aministration for Children & Families, allows the research team to evaluate the services provided to foster youth, identify  gaps and needs,  and design improvements that will promote more positive outcomes for foster youth. Areas of focus include Permanent Connections, Prevention of Homelessness, Emotional and Social Well-being, and Educational and Job Training Opportunities.