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AppleTree: Every Child Ready

Did you see AppleTree profiled in Education Week today?

The piece, titled “Preschool Network Puts ‘Innovation’ Grant to Test ,” highlights how AppleTree has used Investing in Innovation (i3) funds from the Department of Education to develop Every Child Ready , its evidence-based preschool instructional model. Education Week, the national newspaper of record for education, presents Every Child Ready as a model that uses learning through play to give children the social, emotional, and cognitive foundations they need for success in kindergarten and beyond.

To experience a day in the life of an AppleTree student, Education Week reporter Christina Samuels visited AppleTree’s Columbia Heights classrooms. What she saw reveals a carefully planned combination of social-emotional learning and early literacy skill building:

Ms. Twyman leads the children through a brisk review of letter sounds and tells them the plans for the day: Some will choose to dig through a sand table to discover dinosaur “fossils,” while others may play with classroom toys, like blocks. Still others can choose to work with clay, or stamp paper with the letter E with the help of the classroom’s second teacher.

While she noted that early academics are a key focus of Every Child Ready, Samuels also emphasized that AppleTree gives chidlren these cognitive skills in an intentional, fun, and engaging way.

AppleTree President and CEO Jack McCarthy explains in the article how the model is particularly effective for children from under-resourced communities, whose backgrounds may not have prepared them for the rigors of elementary school. “We’re really focused on the children who are starting the furthest behind. They’re the ones who make the most gains through our program,” he says.

It’s an exciting time for AppleTree, and the article accurately describes us as approaching the early education of our children with a “sense of urgency” at a time when preschool is entering the federal limelight.

Take a few minutes today to read the full Education Week article and get a sense for how AppleTree is changing the life trajectories of hundreds of children.