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Advancing Birth-to-Third-Grade Success

Campaign policy brief 2015 imageThe Ready for School Leaders’ Panel and the Children’s Institute are poised to make a significant impact for Oregon’s youngest and most vulnerable children in the 2015 Legislative Session. Advancing Birth-to-Third-Grade Success, our 2015 policy brief, makes the case for the critical investments and policy changes in 2015 that are strongly supported by research and support on-track health and development, kindergarten readiness, and third-grade success.

Showing Up, Staying In

CI Chronic Absence cover jpgeIn its new report “Showing Up, Staying In,the Children’s Institute calls for swift and meaningful action from the state of Oregon to combat chronic absence in all grades, but in particular the early grades starting with kindergarten.

Building Blocks

Building Blocks
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Building-Blocks-Fall2014-coverBuilding Blocks looks at how two Oregon school districts, Pendleton and David Douglas, passed bonds that included financing for high-quality early learning facilities. A key finding of the report is that early learning sells.

Learning Together

Learning Together
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Learning Together explores how parents, child care providers and school staff at Earl Boyles Elementary School, one of our Early Works sites, came together to participate in a series of Mind in the Making classes.

Leading the Way

Leading the Way
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Leading the Way cover

Leading the Way is the story of why four Oregon superintendents — Bob Stewart of Gladstone, Maryalice Russell of McMinnville, Jon Peterson of Pendleton, and Don Grotting of David Douglas — embraced early learning. The report was released at our 2014 Make It Your Business event, in conjunction with a video featuring the superintendents in action.

 

Stopping the Summer Slide

Stopping the Summer Slide
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The summer literacy program is one small piece, but an important one, in the broader Early Works initiativeat Earl Boyles Elementary School. The program is a building block in the effort to close the achievement gap for young children. As Bill Graves finds in this special report, the work is paying off.

 

Baby Steps Into a Big World

Baby Steps Into a Big World
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In our newest report, we tell the story of how a publicly funded preschool began at Earl Boyles Elementary School in Portland, and of the many courageous and smart partners who came together to make it work. We hope this story inspires and motivates the needed system reofrms that our Early Works demonstration project has uncovered. These are challenges that should be met and overcome as we continue to work to do what is best for children.

 

 

 

 

Room to Grow

Room to Grow
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Communities across Oregon are grappling with an inadequate supply of early childhood facilities. Meanwhile, experts have led the way to a better understanding of how the design of a facility influences a child's development - positively or negatively depending on the design.

"Room to Grow" is a compilation of articles about the design and financing of early childhood facilities. Written by professionals in the fields of early care and education, architecture/design, community development, fundraising and children's advocacy, the publication provides a glimpse of what is possible in Oregon. Interviews conducted in Oregon suggest that the expertise and funding exist now to begin making headway in communities across the state. While resources exist, they are disparate and inadequate, and putting the pieces together while operating an early childhood program can be overwhelming. A handful of heroic organizations have overcome the challenges. Their stories are told here.

 

 

Voices for Quality
Directors of the child development programs at Nike, Portland State University and Mentor Graphics describe how their facilities facilitate early learning.

Gillian Brune
Director, Child Development Center
Mentor Graphics

Marilyn Harrison
Executive Director of Child Development Programs
Nike

Will Parnell, Ed.D.
Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Education
Pedagogical Director, Helen Gordon Child Development Center

Portland State University


Oregon's Starting Five

Oregon's Starting Five
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Science confirms what common sense tells us: the social, emotional, physical and cognitive development of infants, toddlers and preschoolers provides the foundation for healthy development in later childhood and adolescence. Yet in Oregon, far too many children grow up in environments that jeop­ardize their ability to be successful in school and life. The stresses of poverty, parental depression and social isolation, for example, can impede the healthy develop­ment of young children.

Oregon's prevention-focused early childhood programs are doing good work; however, the number of vulnerable children in Oregon outstrips the capacity of these programs to serve those most in need. Read on to learn more about Oregon's Starting Five.


From Risk to Resilience

From Risk to Resilience
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The report, "From Risk to Resilience: Building the Social and Emotional Health of Oregon's Most Vulnerable Young Children," highlights why and how the social, emotional and behavioral health of young children provides the foundation for success in school and beyond.

Children who are engaged, able to focus, cooperate with peers, accept supervision from adults and regulate their emotions are much more likely to do well in school than those who are not. Children who are routinely distracted or disengaged, constantly fighting with their classmates and teachers, or too often swept away by their emotions will struggle, and many will fail.

The report highlights the good work being done in Oregon to promote positive social and emotional health of at-risk children. Regrettably, far too few of the young children whose social, emotional and behavioral health is at risk have access to these and other prevention strategies that can change the trajectory of their lives.


Is Oregon Ready to Learn?

Improving Oregon's Kindergarten Readiness Survey
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is_oregon_ready_to_learn_coverAssessments of school readiness, when done correctly, are useful planning tools. Assessing children as they enter kindergarten allows policy-makers to identify and respond to achievement gaps and communities to determine whether children are prepared for success in school. Well-designed assessments help public officials direct resources effectively and efficiently. On the other hand, poorly designed or poorly administered assessments - even if inexpensive - are not a good use of public resources.

As Oregon and the nation move toward comprehensive data systems that track the education of children from birth through college, now is the time to re-engineer Oregon's kindergarten readiness survey to provide Oregonians - policy-makers in particular - a useful tool for measuring school readiness.
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