Early Learning: PreK-3rd Path

Goal: To strengthen links between quality preschool and a child's early elementary years so all students read on target by 3rd grade

Linking Learning: The PreK-3rd Path to School Success

To build on gains that children make in high-quality preschool, we must ensure that they go on to quality classrooms in kindergarten through 3rd grade, when they should be proficient readers. It is in this grade when children transition from learning to read to reading to learn. This early literacy is a key to future academic success.

This means that a child’s preschool experience should be closely connected to the early elementary years, with a strong emphasis on early literacy, experts say.

An effective pre-k through 3rd grade experience provides:

  • High-quality and coordinated learning in well-staffed classrooms
  • Well-prepared teachers and aides to educate children in the 3-8 age range
  • Supportive school district policies
  •  Strong school and district leadership that includes supporting professional development time for teachers to plan for effective coordination across and between grades
  •  Families and communities that share accountability for young children’s educational success.
  • Linking Learning Provides Resources for School Leaders

ACNJ’s Linking Learning Initiative helps school leaders make connections across the early years of children’s learning. The project succeeded in training hundreds of school officials on ways to accomplish this goal and produced resources that teachers, principals and school leaders in New Jersey and across the country continue to use to provide a quality education for all young children.

View video about best practices for kindergarten learning. 

View NJ’s kindergarten guidelines.