Alabama expands program improving early elementary education

This fall, Alabama’s public schools will have 34 new classrooms funded by the state’s Pre-K through 3rd Grade Integrated Approach to Early Learning (P-3) program.

The P-3 program is an effort by the state education entities to integrate the instructional practices of the state’s best-in-the-nation First Class Pre-K program into a student’s education through the third grade.

Alabama will have 208 P-3 classrooms across 21 counties beginning this fall, according to the governor’s office, which announced the expansion in a release.

“Today’s announcement is part of an intentional effort to give Alabama’s children a strong start towards a successful educational career,” said Governor Kay Ivey in a statement on Tuesday.

P-3 is now in its fifth year of existence. Elected leaders, The Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education and the Alabama State Department of Education have cooperated on its expansion.

“As we work to align the birth through 8-year-old early learning continuum, P-3 provides successful transition of Pre-K children and families into their school settings,” remarked Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education Secretary Barbara Cooper.

Cooper noted that evidence reflects “First Class Pre-K students are more likely to be proficient in reading and math and less likely to have disciplinary issues or be retained in a grade.”

Both Ivey’s Strong Start, Strong Finish initiative, and the federal Birth through Five grant have provided funding for the P-3 project.

Tuesday’s expansion means the number of students in P-3 classrooms will grow from around 3,000 to around 3,600 for the upcoming school year.

“P-3 works to align the gains in First Class Pre-K to ensure students do not have a gap in instruction. I am proud that we can provide more tools for teachers and school leaders to continue providing students with the best models for learning in the critical early years,” concluded Ivey.

The full list of schools adding P-3 classrooms, per the governor’s office, as follows:

  • Harmony School, in Cullman County
  • Blount Elementary, in Montgomery County
  • Iola Roberts Elementary, in Pell City
  • Edgewood Elementary, in Selma
  • Myrtlewood Elementary, in Tuscaloosa County
  • Carbon Hill Elementary, Curry Elementary, Parrish
  • Elementary, and Lupton Junior High in Walker County
  • Lynn Elementary School, in Winston County

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