Project of the Sobrato Family Foundation Continues to Expand Impact Across California

[OAKLAND, Calif. – July 22, 2019] – After 10 years as a project of The Sobrato Family Foundation, SEAL has become an independent nonprofit organization.

“It is an exciting time for English Learners in California,” said SEAL’s executive director, Anya Hurwitz. “With a new Governor committing billions of dollars to early childhood and a new State Superintendent who believes in investing in English Learners, we at SEAL are embracing this moment to continue putting English Learners front and center while we transform what student learning can and should be.”

SEAL’s mission will stay the same: to prepare all English Learners to learn, thrive and lead by placing their needs at the center of classrooms, districts, state-level policy and the research field. As a new organization, SEAL will continue to address English Learner needs at all levels to create long-term systemic changes. The organization will strategically expand to work with more districts alongside preschool local education agencies committed to prioritizing their youngest English Learners and dual-language learners. And, we will advocate for state-level changes that focus on English Learners’ needs, and support implementation of the English Learner Roadmap.

Since launching 10 years ago, SEAL has reached more than 50,000 students and trained more than 1,600 teachers. The model has translated into tangible outcomes for English Learners: An early evaluation of SEAL pilot sites found that SEAL students demonstrated significant gains on language, literacy and cognition measures. In fact, despite starting school with language and academic skills behind their peers, SEAL students were able to catch up or surpass their peers on all measures.

“The Sobrato Family Foundation is pleased with the significant progress SEAL has made since its inception, demonstrating outsized impact on how English Learners learn while emphasizing the value of students’ home language and culture,” said SEAL board chair, John Matthew Sobrato. “We are thrilled to continue our partnership with SEAL at this key moment to ensure success for all of California’s English Learners.”

To learn more about SEAL, its model, and the positive impact it is having in districts and schools across California, visit