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Seven early learning collaboratives added to state’s pre-K programs

The seven new ELCs will serve 2,050 pre-K 4-year-olds in 35 new classrooms and 72 existing classrooms, bringing ELC students to more than 6,000.
(Storyblocks.com)
Published: Apr. 22, 2022 at 8:49 AM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Mississippi has seven new early learning collaboratives (ELCs) that serve over 2,000 students.

Mississippi State Board of Education (SBE) voted on April 21 to add the new ELCs to provide more early childhood education pre-K programs to 4-year-old students.

“Early learning collaboratives have proven to be successful, and they continue to give Mississippi’s youngest students access to a quality early childhood education, positioning them for greater academic achievement,” said Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education.

Here are the new ELCs:

  • Jackson Public Schools – Hinds Early Learning Collaborative
  • Noxubee Early Learning Collaborative
  • Senatobia Early Learning Collaborative
  • Holmes Early Learning Collaborative
  • Leland Early Learning Collaborative
  • Long Beach Early Learning Collaborative
  • Pontotoc Pre-K Partners Early Learning Collaborative (Pontotoc City only)

The seven new ELCs will serve 2,050 pre-K 4-year-olds in 35 new classrooms and 72 existing classrooms, bringing ELC students to more than 6,000.

The ELC expansion is made possible by $15.4 million in grants from state funds for the 2021-22 school year.

MDE’s Office of Early Childhood oversees the ELC program and says the goal is to better prepare preschoolers for kindergarten.

The National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) first recognized Mississippi for its ELC program in 2015 as one of only five states that met all 10 of its quality standards. In 2021, NIEER recognized Mississippi as one of only six states that met all quality standards for pre-K.

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