UC Irvine’s associate professor of education Carol Booth Olson has received an $11 million grant from U.S. Department of Education.

The money is earmarked for expanding a reading and writing intervention program for some 100,000 English-language learners in middle and high schools in predominantly low-income areas throughout Southern California.

Booth Olson, a director of UCI’s Writing Project, won the grant in the Department of Education’s Investing in Innovation competition, which “promotes novel approaches to improving student performance and attainment.”

The project aims to close achievement gaps among English learners by providing them with “rigorous analytical writing curriculum” well as “high-quality professional development to teachers,” Olson said in a news release. “They tend to be incredibly dedicated but are overworked and deal with large class sizes and other challenges. We treat them as professionals and provide support, materials and ideas. Our goal is to create professional learning communities at our school sites.”