Kendra, a mother of a student who attended the Early Learning Centers program, talks about how the program helped her daughter Ellis during their time of need.

Kindergartener Ellis started this school year ready and excited. Ellis' mom Kendra attributes this confidence to Ellis' experience at Probstfield Early Learning over the past three years. “She wouldn’t be where she is today without this program,” Kendra explained through tears.

When Ellis was 20 months old, doctors diagnosed her with epilepsy. Soon after that the family saw some regression and developmental stalling. After enrolling Ellis in Early Intervention Services program, Ellis and her family learned about Jumpstart, the district's inclusive preschool. She started to excel socially, academically and physically. Kendra's advice to parents? Get involved early, do the screenings, check in on progress and stay involved.

The Moorhead Jumpstart Program is one of many opportunities in the F-M area to support successful early learning. The Moorhead Area Public Schools Early Childhood Team created a Prekindergarten through Grade 3 (P3) initiative that focuses on building relationships to support our youngest learners. Click here to read more about the program, introduced in this article from April 2020. 

The P3 team’s goal is to align and create coherent systems for learning and development for young kids. Recently, the P3 program was asked by the state to create a video about their work to be shared as a best practice across the state of Minnesota. Since the P3 Program focuses on fostering strong connections between learning and developmental experiences across the critical years from birth to third grade, the program has impacted many families, like Ellis’.

The video project tells the story of three P3 families. View the video to hear more from families on the impact of the Early Learning Program. “Our goal within P3 is not only to grow our early childhood programming, but to partner with our community providers so that we can share evidence-based strategies to support kids,” says Ashley Nelson, Early Childhood Program Manager.

When COVID hit, the P3 leadership group had to pivot and reassess their priorities. Although their goals remained the same, their focus pivoted to Keys to Kindergarten. This event, typically held in person, introduces students to important aspects of Kindergarten like riding the bus and lunchtime. Due to COVID restrictions, the team had to reach families without hosting in-person welcome sessions. Through collaboration across the district, the team produced five introductory videos.

Now, the P3 leadership group remains focused on connecting area organizations. The goal is to create lasting impacts on kids, like Ellis. Through collaboration and sharing of information, P3 hopes to create consistent learning environments to prepare pre-k students for school.