SEEL’s research-based early literacy program is designed to help young children develop, retain, and effectively use literacy skills by way of playful activities.
SEEL is an acronym representing the program attributes:
- Systematic. Literacy skills are purposefully organized and explicitly taught.
- Engaging. Children are motivated to learn by participating in playful, meaningful activities.
- Early. Activities and lessons are consistent with developmental characteristics of young children.
- Literacy. Children acquire the various literacy skills that lead to successful reading and writing.
The SEEL project began in 1998 with funding from a federal grant entitled Project CALL: Contextualized Approach to Language and Literacy. The principal investigators, Drs. Barbara Culatta and Dana Kovarsky of the University of Rhode Island, initially conducted the project in Head Start classrooms with the goal of providing effective and engaging early literacy instruction to preschool children with language differences and language delays. Later the research-based program was expanded to Utah and included dual language (Spanish-English) kindergarten classrooms in public school settings and non-profit schools in Guatemala. The Spanish component of the project provides the same types of engaging and systematic activities as its English language correlate. The SEEL project has continued to be implemented in preschool and kindergarten contexts and continues to be developed and supported by Brigham Young University with involvement from faculty from BYU’s David O. McKay School of Education.