What is CALTA21?

CALTA21 IMLS National Leadership Grant Period 2011-2014

CALTA21 is a model initiative funded through a National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The intent of this initiative, led by Queensborough Community College of the City University of New York (CUNY), is to build the capacity of museum-community college partnerships, to empower adult immigrant English language learners (ELL) while strengthening their literacy and critical thinking skills through visual literacy and simultaneously assisting them in enriching their social and cultural capital.

Under the leadership of Patricia Lannes, Project Director and QCC’s two Principal Investigators, Professor Kitty Bateman and Dr. Margot Edlin, CALTA21 will be implemented with its four partnering museums: El Museo del Barrio, the Rubin Museum of Art, The Godwin-Ternbach Museum at Queens College and the Katonah Museum of Art.

During this grant period (2011-2014), CALTA21’s development and implementation process includes:

  • 1. A continual cycle of testing, revision and redesign of the two project cornerstones: our professional development institute and the curriculum
  • 2. The creation of a manual to serve as resource guide for museums and community college literacy programs when launching a partnership
  • 3. The design and implementation of a dissemination plan that focuses on national implementation opportunities and includes this website where all materials will be available free of charge
  • 4. A culminating symposium will gather participants to share their experiences and evaluators to share their findings for future replication of the model

Who does CALTA21 serve?

The project’s target audiences are:

    1. Adult English Speakers 0f Other Languages (ESOL) seeking to develop their English literacy skills and their families
    2. Museum professionals and volunteers

Faculty from community college literacy programs and staff of community based organizations

What does CALTA21 do?

CALTA21 uses art and museums as catalysts for learning. It is based upon the premise that visual literacy skills are transferable to other literacies and that art can be a powerful conduit to finding meaning in text. While looking at art and participating in facilitated discussions and recreating their immigrant stories, adult ELLs build new vocabulary, strengthen critical thinking skills, engage in dialogue, articulate interpretations and develop a voice that draws from their wealth of experiences and background knowledge. CALTA21 builds an intercultural community of global understanding and civic engagement.

What are the outcomes of CALTA21?

Measurable outcomes include:

  1. Improved literacy skills and increased social/cultural capital for ELL participants and their families
  2. Capacity building for museum and literacy educators
  3. The  inception of museum-community college partnerships both regionally and across the nation
  4. New practices, materials and resources to support the ongoing implementation of CALTA21, all of which will substantially extend the benefit of IMLS’s National Leadership Grant (NLG) investment and increase museum access and participation for thousands of America’s newest residents

Who supports CALTA21′s implementation and dissemination?

CALTA21′s implementation and dissemination plans are coordinated by:

  1. The project team and supported by CUNY’s Office of Academic Affairs, Language and Literacy Programs under the leadership of Dr. Leslee Oppenheim,
  2. Visual Understanding in Education, the organization that created and supports VTS
  3. The participating museums during this grant period
  4. Extensive presentations in local, regional, national and international professional conferences by Patricia Lannes and Kitty Bateman

Aligned with IMLS’s goals of creating models that can be implemented nationally, CALTA21 will develop a national network of organizations interested in implementing the model. By virtue of the collaborative implementation of CALTA21, partnerships will form and grow open pathways for some of the country’s newest residents to enhance language skills, develop cultural and social capital, facilitate access to higher education, and support workforce development, while simultaneously helping each institution expand its reach and maintain its relevance in increasingly diverse communities.

For more information on becoming a CALTA21 implementation site, please contact Patricia Lannes, Project Director or phone her at 516-313-1091.