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Early Learning Communities

Building Community Partnerships for Preschool Programs

Early Learning Communities

Early Learning Communities (ELC), formerly known as Demonstration Learning Communities, is an integrated preschool classroom project funded by an Early Childhood Block Grant from the Kansas Children’s Cabinet and Trust Fund to the Kansas Head Start Association.

Early Learning Communities encourages a collaborative approach that invites a wide range of early childhood partners to:
·         Unite behind a shared vision.
·         Develop creative strategies to reach their own community’s goals.
·         Better serve children and families together.

Nationally, a growing number of communities are working to meet the early childhood needs of children and families through community partnerships.   In 2009, three demonstration learning communities--Coffeyville, Liberal, and Rossville--began serving children in Kansas.  Currently, seventeen communities, fifteen school districts, and ten Head Start programs across the state have implemented, or are discussing implementation, of the integrated classroom model. 

Parents, children, teachers, local and state school administrators, school board members and community partners share the extraordinary benefits of Early Learning Communities in the powerful video below.  They explore all of the components that make Early Learning Communities a tremendous success in selected Kansas communities.  As the deputy commissioner of education in Kansas says:  “It’s a win/win.  It’s win for the child, it’s win for the parents and it’s win for the communities.”