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Medical School Receives $2.6 Million Federal Grant
The U.S. Department of Education today awarded The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston's Children's Learning Institute a $2.6 million, four-year grant aimed at improving students' reading and math skills.
With the federal funding, UT Houston researchers will evaluate the effectiveness of computer-based tutoring programs, including one called Earobics.
"I am thrilled to get the opportunity to pilot and evaluate novel approaches of using technology in the classroom. These programs make learning fun, as they use video game-like interfaces to teach children letters, numbers, counting, and how to play with sounds. Right now, educators believe that children who can master these computer games have a better chance at succeeding in their math and reading classes. Hopefully, our study will show this to be the case," said Jason Anthony, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston.
The funds will target kindergarteners from economically- disadvantaged communities who attend school in the Houston Independent School District (HISD). "We want to see if these programs can give these students a better foundation for their education. These educational computer games may not only be able to help children who are struggling with reading and math, but also children with learning disabilities and those who come from primarily Spanish-speaking homes," said Anthony.
According to the publisher of Earobics, 8,000 schools and districts nationwide use these computer programs as a teaching tool.
"This is a prestigious award in a competitive field with limited funds. I am proud that Dr. Anthony was able to secure this grant. This funding is going to enable us to gain insight into what programs really work in schools," said Susan Landry, Ph.D., director of the Children's Learning Institute.
The grant will come from the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Educational Research (NCER). The NCER engages in research activities to provide high quality education for all children, enhancement in student academic achievement and increased access to postsecondary education.
By Melissa McDonald, Institutional Advancement