Reading And Beyond’s continuing mission is to empower children and families to achieve productive, self-reliant lives.

The English Language Learners Advocacy (ELLA) Program strives to achieve the ultimate impact that English Language Learner (ELL) students will graduate high school prepared and eligible to attend a four-year-university.  One of the components of the program is helping parents of students who have been classified as ELL.  Parents are taught how to navigate the school system and become their children's advocator.

Nearly 60% of ELL students in California’s high schools have failed to become proficient in English despite having more than six years of U.S. education.[1]

In the Fresno Unified School District, 19,915 students were classified as ELL during the 2008-2009 school year, representing 26% of the total district enrollment.  Of these Fresno ELL students, only 10% were redesignated as Fluent English Proficient (FEP).[2]

ELL students that are not redesignated as FEP before starting high school are unable to complete A-G courses, which are required in order to be eligible to attend a University Of California or a California State University.  Our English Language Learner Advocacy Program is particularly interested in the timeliness and increase in the redesignation of English Language Learners to Fluent English Proficient, and increased opportunity for ELL high school students to successfully complete A-G courses.

The English Language Learner Advocacy Program is funded by a grant from Families In Schools, from funding provided by The James Irvine Foundation.  Reading And Beyond was granted the funds to implement this program in Fresno.

As part of the program, Reading And Beyond has employed a full-time Community Connection Coordinator to conduct parent workshops and other related services.  The workshops are held at a community center in Southeast Fresno, covering topics related to the ELL student.  Similar workshops are held through local community-based organizations.

The goal of the English Language Learner Advocacy Program is to help parents of ELL students learn how the school system works and what they can do to ensure that their children are progressing adequately each year in order to obtain redesignation as soon as the criteria is met.

For more information, contact:

Family Strengthening Program Manager

  1. (559)283-6687

[1] Repairable Harm by Laurie Olsen, Ph.D.

[2] CA. Dept. of Education data 2008-2009


ELLA Program Inspiration Spotlight

Matias Bernal and Lupe Mejia

ELLA - English Language Learner Advocacy Program

ELLA in the News

Maria Ceballos, our Community Connection Coordinator, was a featured guest on "Latino Life," which focuses on issues impacting the Latino community and highlights positive contributions Latinos are making in the San Joaquin Valley.

Ms. Ceballos spoke with host Graciela Moreno about Reading And Beyond's new English Language Learner Advocacy (ELLA) program, which strives to achieve the ultimate impact that English Language Learner students will graduate high school prepared and eligible to attend a four-year-university.

(From KFSN-TV, November 14, 2010.)