MCLA Receives Four Year, $400,000 Readiness Grant


NORTH ADAMS, MA - Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) has announced its Berkshire Readiness Center is the recipient of a four year, $400,000 Regional Readiness Center Activities grant from Massachusetts' Executive Office of Education (EEC).

The Berkshire Readiness Center supports early learners from Pre-K through postsecondary education, programs for adult learners and professional development programs for Berkshire County Educators. Through these programs, the Center addresses the unique needs and challenges of Berkshire County, and serves as a statewide resource that is part of a network of best practice centers throughout the Commonwealth.

Dr. Cynthia Brown, vice president of academic affairs at MCLA, said the grant will benefit a wide range of educators, as well as the children and families they serve. This will include those who are early educators in public schools, day care facilities, and organizations such as Head Start.

"The grant supports opportunities for the professional development and credentialing of early educators, including career advisement, postsecondary education and engagement," Brown said. "We look forward to working with our Readiness Center partners and the early education and care community to meet the grant's outcomes and accelerate opportunities for the professional advancement of early educators."

To offer the programs and activities required by the grant the Readiness Center will partner with other organizations including the Preschool Enrichment Team of Springfield.

Priority issues and concerns that the Berkshire Readiness Center addresses include:

1)      Developing professional development opportunities for educators and administrators

2)      Recognizing and promoting educators in the region through award programs

3)      Supporting professional development and credentialing for the region's early educators and promoting the importance of early literacy

4)      Supporting high school/college alignment efforts to better prepare students for college

5)      Through the work of the Berkshire Compact for Education, raising aspirations of all students to pursue postsecondary education and lifelong learning


The Berkshire Readiness Center was established in 2009 through a selection process that resulted in six Readiness Centers in Massachusetts.  MCLA serves as the lead partner together with Berkshire Community College and many community partners. 

For more information, go to http:// readiness .