Culturally Responsive Early Literacy Intervention

Culturally Responsive Early Literacy Intervention staff with a group of children standing at the corner of the room with white wall

Culturally Responsive Early Literacy Instruction (CRELI): American Indian/Alaska Native

From 2013 to 2020, the Culturally Responsive Early Literacy Instruction (CRELI): American Indian/Alaska Native relied on the collaboration of faculty and graduate students from KU's Department of Speech-Language-Hearing Intercampus Program in Communicative Disorders (IPCD), and two nearby educational entities: Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation Early Childhood Center and Little Nations Academic Center at Haskell Indian Nations University. Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation is located approximately 50 miles from the University of Kansas-Lawrence campus, and the KU Lawrence campus shares the city with Haskell Indian Nations University, a 4-year university for students from federally recognized AI/AN tribes. The IPCD has a long history of personnel preparation grants, including grants supporting AI/AN scholars, and is annually ranked in the top 10 among graduate programs in speech-language pathology.   

From 2013 to 2020, the CRELI grant supported 19 graduate students in speech-language pathology, including 11 who are enrolled or affiliated with state- or federally-recognized tribe/nation. Graduate student scholars received a full-tuition scholarship, monthly stipend for books and supplies, and faculty and peer mentoring. CRELI scholars completed a curriculum that included course instruction, clinical practicums, and a field experience that paired scholars with an AI/AN family who had a preschool/early elementary-age child with speech-language impairment. Children who partnered with CRELI received speech, language, and early literacy instruction at their school and/or home-based services. Parents of these children received support and information about speech, language, and literacy development and instruction.

Since 2020, the CRELI grant continues to serve the Native American community in Northeast Kansas by supporting early language and literacy development and culturally responsive instruction.   

Project Director: Matthew Gillispie, PhD, CCC-SLP

Learn more about CRELI

A little girl holding a pencil and drawing

CRELI community sites

CRELI scholar working to develop the early writing skills of a preschooler at Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation Early Education Childhood Center (Ben-no-tteh Wigwam or House of the Child).
CRELI staff and scholars wearing uniforms and standing before a wall with multiple posters

CRELI publications and presentations

CRELI staff and scholars at the American Indian Health Research Education Alliance (AIHREA) Powwow and Research Forum.
matt-timmy and a boy reading the book Froggy's Halloween

Languages and Literacy Resources for parents and educators

Matt Gillispie, CRELI Project Director, and a child participant engaged in shared storybook reading at Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation Early Education Childhood Center (Ben-no-tteh Wigwam or House of the Child).