MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Alabama has received a $1.5 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to help expand the state's Pre-K through Third Grade Integrated Approach to Early Learning program, Gov. Kay Ivey's office says.
"I'm thankful the Kellogg Foundation is helping me to invest in the future of Alabama's children," Ivey said adding it "will go a long way in helping us to expand our Pre-3 program."
The Pre-K through Third Grade Integrated Approach to Early Learning program is the first pillar of the Governor's new education initiative, Strong Start, Strong Finish. It is a joint effort of the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education, Alabama State Department of Education and the Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools (CLAS) to improve student achievement by aligning effective teaching strategies and improving collaboration among educators in early elementary school grades.
There are eight school systems currently taking part in the program's initial year. The grant will help increase the number of schools participating in the pilot program.
"The Pre-K through Third Grade Integrated Approach works to improve student outcomes by aligning instruction across the early grades," said Jeana Ross, Secretary of the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education. "Although the initiative is in its first year, we've already received interest from other schools interested in joining this effort. The Kellogg Foundation funding will help us offer support and technical assistance to more schools."
Schools participating in the program have access to early childhood education specialists who will help pre-k to third-grade teachers implement evidence-based instructional practices.
The support structure is modeled after Alabama's nationally-recognized First Class Pre-K program and other successful leadership, instruction and assessment strategies currently being implemented in Alabama's schools, Ivey's office said.