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AFT Report Spotlights Early Childhood Practices in Community Schools


As early childhood education becomes the focal point of education investment, Right From the Start: Transition Strategies for Developing a Strong Pre K-3 Continuum published by the American Federation of Teachers, a close partner of the Coalition’s, highlights best practices for readying infants and toddlers for primary school and beyond.
The report spotlights the role of the community school strategy as a vehicle for connecting early childhood supports to the early grades.
Oyler Community Learning Center, part of Cincinnati Public Schools Community Learning Centers, will soon offer healthcare and housing services for children 6 weeks old and their families.  Since implementing community learning centers, Cincinnati schools have continued to lift itself out of state-designated academic emergency and into a model school district in Ohio. Students that take advantage of activities and programs offered in community learning centers have shown to perform higher on state standardized tests.
A key piece of the Coalition’s work in early childhood, Early Childhood and Community Schools Linkages Project, is also featured in the report. The Linkages Project intentionally links early childhood programs with community schools in Multnomah County, Ore., Tulsa, Okla., and Albuquerque, N.M. Linkages has already shown positive results in decreasing chronic absenteeism and increasing family involvement. 
The report also includes a closer look at the effectiveness of summer transition programs at community schools in Portland Public Schools through the Linkages Project. Through a partnership with the Portland Federation of School Professionals, children of immigrant families are finding a smooth transition into kindergarten through the use of educational assistants who help bridge language barriers. 

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