The purpose of the Tallahatchie Early Learning Initiative is to improve the social, emotional, and academic outcomes for students in Tallahatchie County through a number of efforts. Recognizing that children are affected by many influences, the project addresses the needs of children directly as well as indirectly through school, family, and community efforts. The initial phase of the project will support prekindergarten children through a summer kindergarten readiness program and a longitudinal assessment strategy that will track progress through 3rd grade. Children in need of language enrichment activities will receive additional support through the SPARK-MS child literacy education program. A number of school-based initiatives will include professional development regarding best practices, one-on-one teacher CLASS coaching, preK – 3rd grade curriculum alignment, and a recruitment/retention plan. Finally, children attending privately owned childcare centers will benefit from a staff development and resources outreach project for providers.
The Tallahatchie Early Learning Initiative began in the summer of 2013 as a partnership between the Early Childhood Institute and the Rock River Foundation, with additional support from the Annenberg Foundation.