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Early Childhood & Community Schools Linkages

The Early Childhood and Community Schools Linkages Project is a partnership between the Coalition for Community Schools at the Institute for Educational Leadership. The project is being implemented through the generous support of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The purpose of the project is to demonstrate strategic linkages between quality comprehensive early childhood opportunities and effective community schools that lead to better results for vulnerable children, and lay a foundation for success in school and life. Click here to access The Early Childhood and Community Schools Linkage Project: A Framework for Action.

Linkages will focus on several key indicators: parent involvement, early chronic absenteeism, and reading by the third grade. The sites will share their project learnings with other communities and inform, influence, and inspire the development of a common state legislative framework to support this linkage by, for example, communicating with/presenting to state agency representatives and key state leaders.

Linkages' goal
is to show community schools as effective vehicles to promote access to and continuity of high quality curriculum, pedagogy, and expectations across early childhood programs and the early grades. Building on well-developed local capacity, Linkage Project sites will foster improved local, district and state level policies and practices. Read more.

Linkages rationale
is based on current research and policy initiatives that confirm that coordinating high quality programming and policy support from early childhood through the elementary grades offers a direct pathway to school improvement. Read more.

Technical assistance to the sites is being provided by The National Center for Community Schools at the Children's Aid Society and The John W. Gardner Center. The National Center provides technical assistance to the three project sites in support of their work and to help them examine their progress towards goals. The Gardner Center is conducting an external evaluation, documenting how sites are progressing toward project goals. Read more about the Children's Aid Society's work around Early Learning.

The Coalition has also convened an advisory board of Early Childhood experts to offer guidance to the Linkages sites. They have contributed immensely to getting the Linkages work off of the ground as well as helped create the Project Framework . Advisory Board Members are: Sharon Adams-Taylor, Johnny Bancroft, Helen Blank, Gary Chapman, Richard Clifford, Libby Doggett, Ayeola Fortune, Mimi Howard, Sara Mead, Sandra Miller, Jane Quinn, Adele Robinson, Lisbeth Schorr, Fasaha Traylor, and Marci Young.

The 3 Linkages sites are:


Click here for more resources on the Linkages Project.

Click here for the latest early childhood resources!
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