Starting Strong is a network of educators, parents, childcare workers, service providers, health professionals, funders, students, business leaders, and other community members working together to ensure all children in Portland establish the building blocks for a lifetime of learning.
Starting Strong is the early age component of Portland ConnectED, a cradle-to-career initiative whose goal is that all young people graduate from high school and successfully transition to their next step.
With a focus on birth to age 8, Starting Strong’s top priority is to help children reach reading proficiency by the end of third grade, a critical benchmark in assuring student success. Recognizing that the entire community plays a role in transforming children into educated, independent adults, Starting Strong partners with schools, parents, businesses, community organizations, and residents to ensure all Portland children have the opportunity to achieve our goal.
Starting Strong implements strategies around four key result areas that support third grade reading proficiency: 1) improving school readiness; 2) increasing attendance; 3) reducing summer learning loss; 4) increasing PreK to third grade literacy.
Keys To Success
Starting Strong is committed to using the Results-Based Accountability (RBA) framework to engage the community in achieving its goal. Starting Strong’s role is to gather diverse efforts and align them in ways that strengthen supports for kids. RBA has proven to be a successful practice to help multiple organizations better understand how they fit together to create change. It is a disciplined way of thinking that can be used to improve the quality of life in communities.
Though it can take a variety of shapes, RBA always includes clearly articulating desired results with data collection and a reporting protocol to assess progress. We view accurate, timely, and high-quality data as paramount to our work. It is key to identifying inequities to be addressed and measuring success.
Starting Strong is the early age component of Portland ConnectED, a community-wide partnership that works to ensure the success of every child from cradle to career.