P-3 Schools

What it is:
The P-3 Schools Project aligns early learning and grades K-3 by connecting families to school before kindergarten and fostering parent leadership through early grades.

Why it’s important:
Research shows that when schools actively engage and connect parents in culturally appropriate ways, kids do better. P-3 Coordinators coordinate activities that help families of color and families who speak languages other than English feel connected, comfortable, and confident as members of their school community.

How it works:
ELM funds one dedicated P-3 (prenatal-3rd grade) Coordinator at nine SUN Schools.The nine selected P-3 School sites are supported by one of five SUN Lead Agencies who directly receive the funding.

  • Wilkes Elementary, El Programa Hispano Católico, Reynolds School District
  • Salish Ponds Elementary, Metropolitan Family Service, Reynolds School District
  • Rigler Elementary, Latino Network, Portland Public Schools
  • Kelly Elementary, Latino Network, Portland Public Schools
  • Sacramento Elementary, Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO), Parkrose School District
  • Ventura Park Elementary, IRCO, David Douglas School District
  • Lincoln Park Elementary, IRCO, David Douglas School District
  • Lynch Wood Elementary, Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA), Centennial School District
  • Highland Elementary, Gresham-Barlow School District 

At each school, P-3 Coordinators create a family-friendly school climate by:

  • Coordinating early learning activities (like Early Kindergarten Transition for incoming kindergarteners),
  • Organizing Play and Learn groups for the youngest in the community and their parents
  • Facilitating Parent Cafes where parents can connect with other parents and build leadership skills
  • Providing support to kindergarten teachers
  • Offer social service supports and connecting families to resources

Results:
In 2016-2017: P-3 Coordinators served 282 adults and 297 children across eight schools. 

In 2017-2018: 547 adults and 496 children participated in P-3 activities across nine schools.

What’s next:
ELM and its partners in the SUN system are looking at ways to expand and improve this promising strategy. SUN will be working with researchers at PSU to analyze learnings from the first year. This work will help SUN and ELM better understand the conditions needed for P-3 schools to thrive, allowing families to connect with schools earlier and more deeply—so more families feel like they belong.

    Links/Resources:
    P-3 Schools builds from the Early Works Project at Earl Boyles, the Clarendon Regional Early Learning Academy, and the Kindergarten Partnership Innovation work at David Douglas School District.