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The News Literacy Project to Expand into Nation’s Capital

The News Literacy Project is expanding into Washington, D.C., in the fall of 2011.

The project will work with 8th-grade students at the E.L. Haynes Public Charter School, one of the most highly regarded schools in the District of Columbia. Haynes will be the third NLP partner in the region; the first two, both in Bethesda, Md., are Walt Whitman High School and Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School.

“NLP will provide our students with the critical thinking and analytical skills they need to be successful in college and in life,” said Jennifer C. Niles, E.L. Haynes’ founder and head of school.  “Participation in this project will help E.L. Haynes fulfill our mission.”

That mission is for each student at E.L. Haynes –- regardless of race, socioeconomic status or home language—to reach high levels of academic achievement and be prepared to succeed at the college of his or her choice. Washington’s first year-round public school is moving steadily toward this goal through its program based on nationally recognized best practices for advancing student achievement; in four years, the percentage of its students scoring proficient or advanced in math increased 39% and in reading, 27%.

Founded in 2004, E.L. Haynes has enrolled 600 students from pre-school through 8th grade in the 2010-2011 school year. It will add a grade each year and will have its first graduating seniors in the 2014-2015 school year.

The school is named for Dr. Euphemia Lofton Haynes, the first African-American woman to receive a doctorate in mathematics. She was a teacher in the District of Columbia’s school system for 47 years and was the first woman to serve as president of the District of Columbia Board of Education.

In the 2010-2011 school year, the News Literacy Project is reaching more than 1,700 students through its work with 30 teachers in 12 schools in Bethesda, New York City and Chicago. It expects to increase its presence in all three regions during the 2011-2012 school year.