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Our Work

Starting Strong’s goal is for all children in Portland to read at or above grade level by the end of third grade.

We believe the entire community plays a role in supporting a child’s education.  Starting Strong partners with schools, parents, businesses, community organizations, and residents to address four key result areas that directly impact third grade reading success. These key areas are: 1) school readiness; 2) summer learning; 3) attendance; 4) PreK to third-grade literacy.

Together, we remove barriers, expand opportunities, and assist parents and other community members to support student success. As the early age component of Portland ConnectED, we work to improve the social, emotional, and academic environment of Portland’s most vulnerable children from birth to age 8.

Starting Strong became a Campaign for Grade Level Reading site in 2013 with the acceptance of our partnership’s Community Solution Action Plan –  a community-wide strategy to address achievement gaps between students. This document provides a clear overview of the challenge and our first framework for action.  

Today, Starting Strong is poised to move forward to increase its impact through community partnerships — with a keen focus on the children and families who need us most.




School Readiness

Result: All Portland children will enter kindergarten prepared to succeed in school. Here is how we work to achieve this…

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Summer Learning

Goal: All Portland children, from PreK through third grade will maintain or improve their reading level over their summer vacation in order to enter the school year at or above grade level. Here is how we work to achieve this…

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Result: All Portland children enrolled in early learning programs through third grade will arrive at school on time every day. Here is how we work to achieve this…

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PreK to Grade 3 literacy

Result: All Portland third graders read at or above grade level on the State of Maine’s assessment of reading. Here is how we work to achieve this…

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