Governor Ivey Announces $1.5 Million Grant to Help Expand State Pre-K through Third Grade Program to More Schools
MONTGOMERY – Governor Kay Ivey on Tuesday announced that the W.K. Kellogg Foundation has awarded a $1.5 million grant to help expand the state’s Pre-K through Third Grade Integrated Approach to Early Learning program.
“I’m thrilled to announce the W.K. Kellogg Foundation has awarded the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education a $1.5 million grant that will go a long way in helping us to expand our Pre-3 program,” Governor Ivey said. “Ensuring that our children receive a high-quality, early childhood education is a key component to my ‘Strong Start, Strong Finish’ initiative. I’m thankful the Kellogg Foundation is helping me to invest in the future of Alabama’s children.”
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. Currently, eight school systems are participating in the program’s initial year. The Kellogg Foundation 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.