People often ask me “what does the ‘P’ in ‘P-3’ stand for?” or “what does ‘P-3’ really mean?” In Oregon, we define P-3 as prenatal through third grade and use P-3 as shorthand for efforts, both at the state and local levels, to connect early learning and K-3 education. While P-3 incorporates a wide range of strategies and approaches, much of the work currently underway in Oregon focuses on supporting children to ensure smooth and successful transitions into kindergarten, engaging families as partners in children’s learning and development, and creating a shared professional culture and approaches to curriculum, instruction, learning environments, and assessment between providers of early learning services and K-3 educators.
There is some exciting P-3 work taking place in Oregon. First, in partnership with the Department of Education, Children’s Institute, Oregon Community Foundation, The Ford Family Foundation, and Portland State University recently launched a P-3 resource website, designed to provide communities, early learning providers, K-3 educators, and families with useful tools and information to support and strengthen local P-3 efforts. In addition to these resources, the site also highlights the phenomenal P-3 work currently taking place in communities throughout the state.
I recently had the opportunity to visit several of our Early Learning Hubs to learn more about the P-3 approaches that they and their local partners are putting into action through the Early Learning Kindergarten Partnership & Innovation Program (KPI). In Rainier, I had the opportunity to observe the first day of Kinder Camp, a brand new two-week kindergarten transition program, primarily for children who have not had access to Pre-K programs. I heard about efforts in Yahmill County, with the local CCR&R to offer the Ready for K! Program, which builds capacity of adults to support children’s learning at home, to home-based child care providers for the first time.
The Eastern Oregon Hub continues its innovative approach to sharing formative assessment data with families. Early Learning Multnomah is launching new P-3 focus sites, with an emphasis on culturally responsive family engagement, at eight elementary schools in the upcoming school year, and the Marion-Polk Early Learning Hub has implemented a successful approach to P-3 professional learning communities. I am also excited to note that the Linn-Benton-Lincoln Early Learning Hub has been accepted to participate in this year’s National P-3 Institute at the University of Washington.
If you’re interested in learning more about these P-3 approaches, as well as others from around the state, please plan to attend our statewide P-3 Conference taking place November 17-18 at the PDX Sheraton. This conference will bring together early learning providers and K-3 educators from all over Oregon, and will focus primarily supporting children’s social-development. Stay tuned for additional information on the conference, and in the meantime, please feel free to contact me by phone at 503.378.5160 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.