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Project UPLIFT

Urban Partnership on Literacy Instruction For Teachers

The Urban Partnership on Literacy Instruction for Teachers, Project UPLIFT, is a collaboration between Morgan State University, Baltimore City Public Schools, and the Baltimore Teachers Union, that seeks to transform literacy instruction for grades 3-8 in six elementary/middle schools while simultaneously enacting 21st century skills for both in-service and preservice teachers.  UPLIFT utilizes literacy as a rudder to steer larger changes in teacher preparation, teacher induction, and teacher professional development as envisioned by the recommendations of the 2019 Maryland Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education.  Funding is provided through the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) for 2019-2023 through the Teacher Collaborative Grant (TCG) funding stream.  

The major programming for this grant involves:

  • Professional Development for Teachers and Candidates:
    • Science of Reading (SoR) training- Orton-Gillingham
    • Science of Reading (SoR) coaching for both pre and inservice educators in City Schools
  • Professional Development for Teachers
    •  Cohort of City Schools teachers pursuing National Board for Professional Teaching Standards
  • Career Ladder
    • Collaboration with teachers who have earned National Board for Professional Teaching Standards to create a 21 Century practicum for juniors (Teacher Education program)

Current Project UPLIFT schools include: Garrett Heights ES/MS, City Neighbors Charter and Hamilton, Northwood Elementary School, Glenmount Elementary/Middle School, Montebello Elementary School, and Liberty Elementary School.

Science of Reading (SoR) & UPLIFT

Project UPLIFT embraces the importance of ensuring that teachers and candidates are trained to enact an approach to teaching reading that is both evidence based and structured. UPLIFT teachers are trained to enact the Science of Reading, an approach that requires teachers to provide explicit instruction about the varying rules about standard American English. Orton-Gillingham (O-G) is the specific form of SoR through which teachers are trained. O-G is a method that relies heavily upon continual assessment to drive the individualized and small group instruction provided by teachers.

We are embracing SoR based on an understanding that reading is difficult for many. Most brains are simply not wired to engage in the reading of text without a great deal of support. SoR is a way of providing that explicit instruction for readers. Beyond receiving SoR training, teachers are also provided with a SoR coach who helps to support teachers as they work to apply their knowledge with their students.

21st Century Practicum for Teacher Candidates

Faculty at MSU are collaborating with City School educators who have earned National Board for Professional Teaching Standards to enhance course content as well as practicum experience for teacher candidates in the Elementary Education program. Practicum experiences that are taking place in schools and communities and include activities such as observations, individualized tutoring experiences under the supervision of a SoR coach, planning and providing parental reading trainings, and varied experiences to understand the significance of language in helping to develop reading skills and reading identity.

National Board for Professional Teaching Standards

UPLIFT is hosting 10 candidates who are educators in City Schools to pursue National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS).  This two year program, which encompasses the pursuit of NBPTS, is supported through UPLIFT in the following ways:

  • Monthly meetings that align with the major components of module submissions
  • Monthly meetings with an assigned NBPTS mentor
  • Financially covering the NBPTS registration and module submissions 

This work helps to ensure teachers are provided opportunities to rise on the career ladder recommended by the Bluepoint for Maryland’s Future (2019).

Contact Information

Please contact Dr. Simone Gibson with any questions.