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, there are nine ELC programs that represent Kansas school district and Head Start partnerships:  Cimarron, Goodland, Hill City, KawValley/St Marys, Liberal, Southern Lyon County, Stafford, and Topeka Public Schools (Sheldon and Pine Ridge Prep).  Many other school districts 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.  


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.

I feel that the children are our hope . . . As much as we put into them, they give twice as much back to us.
— Whitney Wilson, Coffeyville