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Gates Foundation Funding $3.4 Million Grant for High Quality Instructional Materials and Research in El Paso

Grant supports new models for improving math outcomes through high quality instructional materials and strategic staffing

El PASO, TX– Today, CREEED and the El Paso Community Foundation announced a historic $3.4 million dollar investment from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to strengthen math outcomes for students in El Paso through the use of High Quality Instructional Materials (HQIM). The grant will support Clint Independent School District’s (Clint ISD) implementation of high quality math instructional materials, consisting of evidence-based and standards-aligned materials that help all students understand and break down complex math topics. 

The grant will also support the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) to conduct research on the impact of High Quality Instructional Materials as well as best practices that future teachers can utilize when working with these materials. El Paso is one of just three regions in Texas to receive support from the Gates Foundation for this effort.

“Over the last five years, the UTEP College of Education has worked side-by-side with school district and philanthropic partners to elevate the preparation of teachers through an innovative, partnership-based residency model,” said Erika Mein, Ph.D., Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Professor of Literacy/Biliteracy Education at the UTEP College of Education. “This initiative represents an opportunity to build on that strong foundation to focus on the implementation of high-quality curricula with one of our key partner districts, Clint ISD.”

With teachers spending up to 12 hours a week and often their own funds to find and create rigorous materials to supplement curricula, HQIM allows educators more flexibility to focus on their students and lessons, and innovate. HQIM in math are designed to help students understand the “why” behind their math lessons, deepening their comprehension of the subject matter. More importantly, these research-based materials ensure all students, including students with learning disabilities, advanced learners, and English language learners, are exposed to grade-level content that can help them meet state standards and excel in math. 

“This partnership between CREEED, El Paso Community Foundation, Clint ISD, and UTEP demonstrates the El Paso community’s commitment to excellence in educating and supporting our students and educators,” said Nadia Tellez, Choose to Excel Director at CREEED. “Through this collaborative effort, we are cultivating an empowering learning environment, providing the highest quality materials to our students, and ensuring their greatest chance at success.”

The grant will allow Clint ISD to further their use of HQIM at the elementary, middle school and high school level, and work with US Prep, an organization dedicated to providing technical assistance and consultation for high-quality educator preparation, to create strategic staffing models that support each teacher to not only utilize these high quality materials, but enhance lesson delivery that will resonate with students and help them progress in math. 

At the core of the El Paso Educator Pipeline Community of Practice success is the spirit of collaboration between school districts, higher education, and community partners,” said Stephanie Otero, Vice President of Operations at the El Paso Community Foundation.  “We are thrilled that Clint ISD has raised its hand to pilot the work to improve the implementation of High Quality Instructional Materials (HQIM). This includes both support for current teachers as well as a partnership with UTEP to embed HQIM implementation strategies in teacher preparation.”

“Clint ISD started implementing the use of High Quality Instructional Materials during the 2022-2023 school year,” said James Littlejohn, Clint ISD Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Curriculum and Instruction. “The use of on grade-level curriculum is already paying dividends for students’ academic success. The grant will enable us to continue our work to align the use of HQIM across all grade levels and to better support our teachers and our students in its application. The final outcome will be to prepare our students for the rigors of college.”

The Gates Foundation grant provides a critical investment in the El Paso community as educators and community organizations strive to improve educational attainment levels across the region. 

CONTACT: For media inquiries, please contact Kayla Suarez at 915-253-2200 or



CREEED is a not-for-profit organization focused on increasing the number of high-performing seats in El Paso’s public education system. This is accomplished by investing in initiatives that are creating measurable outcomes to close the achievement gap for El Paso students. CREEED supports organizations, initiatives, and policies that prepare students to succeed in college and in our future workforce. CREEED’s efforts are focused on increasing the quality of education that students receive in El Paso. Our efforts fall into three categories: Increasing Student Attainment; Increasing Teacher Talent & Leadership Development; and Increasing Parent and Community Engagement.​ 

About El Paso Community Foundation

Founded in 1977 as a permanent endowment for El Paso and the surrounding borderland region, the El Paso Community Foundation has given back more than $267 million to a wide variety of organizations and projects in education, health, human services, arts, environment, and animals. The Foundation is more than a grant maker, it acts as a leader and convener to support numerous projects and initiatives across our region. More info available at

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