About the Project

PreK-3rd Alignment (or P-3) is a comprehensive reform strategy that is gaining national momentum. It is focused on ensuring that all children develop the cognitive and social skills that establish strong foundations for future learning.

Third grade is a critical turning point in children’s education. Those children who cannot read proficiently by the third grade will struggle to master the academic content in later grades. Children who are behind at third grade usually struggled well before then, and despite what we may hope, they just keep falling further and further behind.

Research shows that children who experience a continuum of quality, aligned PreK-3rd components perform better in third grade than those who do not.

In 2009, the Northwest Educational Service District 189 (NWESD), in Anacortes, Washington, received a grant to take promising practices occurring in Nooksack Valley School District to scale in a five-county region of Northwest Washington State. The Nooksack Valley School District has emerged as a leader within the region for integrating early learning and partnering with community programs as part of a strategic approach toward increasing student achievement. The district, in collaboration with the Opportunity Council, their Head Start partnership, has developed a professional development model of shared teaching and learning among teachers pre-k through third grade. In choosing literacy as the instructional focus, the Nooksack Valley Collaboration brought David Matteson, an expert in emergent reading and writing, in to work with teachers from both Head Start and the school district.

As an extension of the grant project, the NWESD chose to develop this website. In partnership with Child Care Resource and Referral, Video Slide Imagecommunity child care partners will have the opportunity to access the content of this website, to consult with early literacy coaches who have trained with David Matteson and to participate in professional learning communities focused on early literacy instruction. We believe that working to develop common approaches that support literacy development among district-community early learning partnerships will result in more children entering school with the skills and attitudes they need to be successful and to maintain that achievement over time.