Summer 2024: An update from ELM


Celebrating Molly Day

With bittersweet hearts we announce the retirement of Molly Day, our beloved director, after a meaningful career including 25 years working in the early learning field in Multnomah County. Molly was a founding director of Early Learning Multnomah in 2014 and under her leadership racial equity was embedded as a cornerstone of our mission. Molly was also instrumental in the passage and creation of Preschool for All

Molly has a natural gift for building relationships coupled with a fierce commitment to advocate for our region’s families. She played a pivotal role in establishing the Parent Accountability Council (PAC), composed of parents from diverse cultural backgrounds, to guide ELM’s work. Molly has remained a steady presence at the PAC, helping parent leaders to grow and strengthen the group’s voice. Here are some heartfelt words from them in celebration: 

  • “I learn a lot from Molly. She's humble and I look to Molly as a role model. Without Molly, this program wouldn’t exist. It wasn’t just work, but a dream for Molly.” 
  • “Molly is the mom of this group. When she welcomes me with a big smile, I feel at home here.”
  • “All our children benefit from Molly’s work, and future children too!” 
  • “It’s people like Molly that make the work we do more meaningful.” 

Molly's legacy of heartful advocacy will continue to inspire us, and we wish her all the best in her well-deserved retirement. 


Early Learning Multnomah received $980,000 this spring to support early literacy activities in Multnomah County. Approved in the recent legislative session, these funds are part of a broader effort to improve literacy instruction across Oregon. Securing the funds involved a multi-year collaboration with education activists, the Governor’s office, the Early Childhood Coalition, and the Oregon Early Learning Hub Association

Parent leaders from the Parent Accountability Council reviewed and approved funding proposals, in accordance with our guiding principles. This month, funds will be distributed to purchase books and materials, support "play and learn" groups, translate materials, provide after-school activities, and much more!  LEARN MORE ›


This summer, the Parent Accountability Council (PAC) of Early Learning Multnomah (ELM) will celebrate its 10th anniversary with a family party filled with cultural food, performances, and summer activities. This is a special milestone for all of us who have been involved over the years – in centering and amplifying parent voice and leadership. 

The PAC is essential to the work of ELM. Parents on the council propose initiatives, provide feedback and direction, and help disseminate information. Beyond its advisory role, the PAC supports parent leaders in growing their leadership skills and expanding their networks, creating ripple effects throughout our community.

Early Learning Multnomah annually creates culturally and linguistically specific “Transition to Summer Kits” for preschoolers and their families. These kits include learning materials, art supplies, an activity calendar, and kindergarten registration information. This year, in partnership with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the kits also featured books on financial literacy for young children along with a parent guide. 

Assembled by 20 volunteers through Hands On Greater Portland, and delivered by UPS volunteers, 700 kits were distributed to families in Multnomah County, planting seeds for future growth and learning. 


Bilingual Coordinator Enrollment Project Manager

ELM is excited to welcome Jorge Guzman Arenas to the team! Jorge has worked with children, youth, and families in the Portland Metro Area over the past 9 years. Before joining ELM, he worked with underserved youth and families impacted by community violence, poverty and the criminal justice system. Jorge received a bachelor’s degree in education and Family and Human Services from the University of Oregon in 2015. His focus has always been in community building, support with access to equitable services, education opportunities, challenging systems of oppression and being an advocate for equity for all. He feels at home with the ELM Preschool Promise program as he strongly believes in the life changing benefits of an early education. 



Preschool Promise applications for the 2024-25 are currently being accepted. APPLY NOW ›