The First 10 Years

School and Community Initiatives to Improve Teaching, Learning, and Care
Education Development Center

The first decade of children’s lives provides the foundation for a lifetime of learning, growth, and development. And yet, the programs and services available to young children and their families are often of inconsistent quality and highly fragmented. Across the country, schools and communities struggle to connect the steps for children and families and create a well-coordinated sequence of high-quality learning experiences and comprehensive supports across these critical years.

A number of communities, however, are at the forefront of a movement to improve children’s early experiences, focusing on effective teaching and learning, strong partnerships with families, and comprehensive health and social services. When combined, these strategies can form a powerful approach to addressing widening opportunity gaps, ensuring educational equity, and raising achievement for low-income children, children of color, dual language learners, and children with special needs.

In a new study, “All Children Learn and Thrive: Building First 10 Schools and Communities,” released on April 30, David Jacobson looks at innovative schools and communities engaged in this work and offers a new way of improving children’s early experiences by linking P-3 educational improvement strategies and community school models.

Join New America and Education Development Center for a presentation by Jacobson on what he coins First 10 Schools and Communities. Following the presentation, Education Week’s Christina Samuels will moderate panel discussions on this new way of thinking about children’s first 10 years.

Reception to follow.


Laura Bornfreund
Director, Early & Elementary Education Policy, New America

Brooke Chilton-Timmons
Youth and Families Services Division, SUN Service System, Multnomah County, Oregon

Lei-Anne Ellis
Cambridge Birth--3rd Grade Partnership, Cambridge Public Schools, Massachusetts

David Jacobson
Principal Technical Advisor, Education Development Center

Criselda Lopez Anderson
Buffett Early Childhood Institute, Omaha, Nebraska

Kwesi Rollins
Institute for Educational Leadership

Deborah Stipek
Stanford University


Christina Samuels
Associate Editor, Education Week

Follow the conversation online using #First10 and following @NewAmericaEd.