The 21st Century Teaching and Learning Initiative has been reinvigorated with an additional three-year, $1.5 million grant from the Phyllis and Dennis Washington Foundation.

Interim Dean at the University of Montana Phyllis J. Washington College of Education and Human Sciences, Adrea Lawrence, said the grant is a continuation of two previous grants from the Washington Foundation.

“We have held these grants jointly with Missoula County Public Schools for a variety of projects,” said Dean Lawrence. “Everything from International Baccalaureate in elementary and high schools, to dual language immersion at Paxson Elementary to early interventions, making sure that toddlers and preschoolers are ready for kindergarten, to blended learning through the Montana Digital Academy.”

Lawrence said construction is nearly complete on an expansion at the college of education on the UM campus.

“Part of that is two new preschool classrooms with our learning and belonging preschool here at the college,” she said. “That is a clinical space for our early childhood and elementary education programs. One of the new initiatives in the 21st century teaching and learning program is going to be focused on early childhood education, so we’ll be able to use this amazing clinical space and collaborate with Missoula County Public Schools on other topics such as school safety.”

For UM, a press release states that the partnership aligns with the institution’s top priorities to emphasize student success and drive excellence and innovation in teaching, research and learning.