New Grants Show the Power of Collaboration to Advance Ideal Learning Practices

Trust for Learning recently closed the application period for proposals to advance Ideal Learning in the public sector and received a total of 24 submissions! The early education community’s response to our request for proposals to advance Ideal Learning in the public sector was enthusiastic, incredibly thoughtful, and very exciting. With so many more great proposals submitted than we can fund this year, we are inspired by the response and recognize the need for even more grant opportunities in order to increase our collective impact. All of them presented ideas that we should explore together in the future.

We are pleased to announce that four grantees have been selected to implement their plans of action. Each demonstrates the power of different providers joining together to bring Ideal Learning to underserved children and communities:

AppleTree: Located in Washington, D.C., this project will help guide the D.C. Public Charter School Board’s early learning Performance Management Framework toward creating better tools to measure quality in early learning. Partners such as the National Center for Montessori in the Public Sector, local Montessori charter schools, Tools of the Mind, researchers, and Bellwether Education Partners will work together to create recommendations for a framework that combines research, practice, and accountability. Developing this critical tool simultaneously enables systems change within D.C. through a framework that supports the work of Ideal Learning providers.

Early Milestones: Early Milestones Colorado is a collaboration between the Colorado Department of Education, Denver Public Schools, and two schools currently implementing Ideal Learning approaches (Montessori and Tools of the Mind) from preschool through third grade. The project will examine policy barriers, gaps, and opportunities to align Ideal Learning models with district and state early literacy goals and create a vision of systemic change to help spread Ideal Learning throughout the state.

National Center for Montessori in the Public Sector (NCMPS): Partnering with the HighScope Foundation and the Alliance for Public Waldorf Education, NCMPS will look at the experiences of children of color in Ideal Learning environments. They will then compile data to be used by researchers and advocates as part of a searchable database that serves as a “first stop” for researchers studying Ideal Learning.

NH ChILD Bank Street: This proposal improves early childhood educator skills in developmentally appropriate practice through professional learning communities that focus on Ideal Learning principles. The project will incorporate partners in the New Haven Children’s Ideal Learning District (NH ChILD) to develop these professional learning programs.

Please join us in congratulating each of the grantees and extending our thanks to all of the teams who submitted proposals. Together, we are making Ideal Learning real for every child.