Prenatal to 3rd Grade


Mission: Launching Children and Families on a Path to Success

Strategy: The Prenatal to 3rd Grade Workgroup is a data-driven framework of five specific work groups: Language and Literacy, Professional Development, Home Visiting, Early Childhood Health and Development, and Pre-K to Kindergarten Transition. Members of each work group are all Norwalk ACTS members who volunteer their time, talent and expertise in specific areas.

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The Language and Literacy work group addresses the literacy needs of all Norwalk’s children – Prenatal to 3rd grade – in order to impact two outcomes:

-Children ready to learn when entering kindergarten

-Meeting the goal level in 3rd grade reading

The work group consists of over 30 members including Norwalk Public Schools teachers, PreK Providers, experts in the Social/Emotional field, professionals in the prenatal space and community members. One focus of the workgroup has been around the PELI (Preschool Early Learning Indicators) Assessment Project. PELI is a preschool literacy assessment for children 3 to 5-years old that measures alphabet knowledge, vocabulary and oral language, phonemic awareness, and listening comprehension. This assessment allows preschool teachers to identify children who are experiencing difficulties acquiring these skills with the intent to provide instructional support. PELI is also a 80 percent predictor for 3rd grade reading outcomes.

Professional Development refers to the process of acquiring new knowledge and skills that relate to one’s job, duties, or career path. It encompasses all types of learning opportunities, ranging from formal coursework in college, workshops, and conferences to more informal learning opportunities in practice. The goal of this workgroup is to create a professional development system that promotes coordinated and effective learning paths for the early childhood workforce.

This workgroup has over 15 members representing a cross section of Norwalk ACTS. The current focus is on creating an asset map of professional development being offered in Norwalk which will also highlight the gaps that need to be addressed.

Home Visitation programs provide critical support to families with young children and focus on positive parenting skills, facilitate connections to supportive services, and promote child wellness and development. Goals of the home visiting workgroup include:

-Ensure families have access to services

-Strengthen and streamline the referral systems

-Establish core competencies for home visitors

-Establish universal training for all Norwalk home visitors

-Develop shared outcomes

-Provide data which is the foundation upon which the home visiting system is built

Early Childhood Health and Development is part of a larger Norwalk body of work, which includes the Healthy For Life Project, Norwalk Public Schools Wellness Committee, the Campbell’s Healthy Communities Program, and Early Childhood Health and Development. The Healthy for Life project has expanded and promoted the NorWALKer community walking maps, created the Move More in Schools Toolkit, and spread the word about farmers markets in the Norwalk community. The Norwalk Public Schools Wellness Committee worked with the Board of Education and Norwalk Public Schools officials to develop and pass an updated wellness policy for the school district in February 2017.

Pre-K to Kindergarten Transition.  A collective engagement of Norwalk’s early childhood leaders is working together to address and define what it means for a child entering Kindergarten to be ready to learn.

To learn more, contact Sandy Bria at