We believe that education is an important pathway out of poverty and that high-quality early childhood education, family engagement and early social-emotional learning provide the foundation for school success.

Work In New Orleans

Since focusing our work in the Greater New Orleans Area in 2007, quality early childhood education, both center- and school-based and successful K transition have been our primary goals. Issues we have addressed include: children entering K unprepared for success; K’s ill-suited for children coming from high quality, developmentally-appropriate Pre-K experiences; families unaware of how to help their children prepare for school success and uncomfortable with “big school;” and the lack of collaboration between “little school” and “big school.”

We were inspired by The Pew Center on the States’ report, Beyond the School Yard: Pre-K Collaborations with Community-Based Programs (July 2009), that states: “Decades of research show the positive effects of high-quality Pre-K on children’s cognitive, social, physical and emotional development. These gains generate significant savings because children need fewer higher-priced interventions such as special education and grade retention. Furthermore, high-quality Pre-K has been spotlighted as critical to intensified national efforts to close achievement gaps among children from different backgrounds.” The report goes on to conclude that although childcare center and school partnerships “may require more time and effort, [it] ultimately benefits all stake-holders: public schools, private providers, families and children.”

Significant recent accomplishments include:

  • Development of First Teacher Louisiana, a comprehensive training program for family childcare providers, for the Louisiana Department of Children & Family Services in 2008
  • Successful initiation and implementation of the first two formal partnerships (“Diverse Delivery”) between a New Orleans childcare center and a public charter school for the purpose of creating high quality Pre-K and seamless transition into K for low-income children—Seamless Transitions Program
  • Development of newsletters for United Way of Southeast Louisiana, first for its Success By 6 program and more recently for its Robert Wood Johnson Family Childcare Initiative
  • Development of Learning Everyday Together Series (“LETS”) workshops for families with young children in schools and childcare centers
  • Implementation of ELF Early Learning Resource and Training Center, first in Broadmoor at the Andrew Wilson Charter School and then at the Homer Plessy Community School in the Seventh Ward. The Center was used by local childcare centers as well as the teachers in the school and families.
  • Development of LETS Read, family-center Reading Program at Plessy. Later expanded to Cypress Academy and James Singleton Charter School.
  • Development of SELF, SEL program at Plessy and recently at Singleton.
  • Afterschool programming at Plessy and Bienville Basin 2018-19

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