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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 three key result areas that support third grade reading proficiency: 1) improving school readiness; 2) reducing summer learning loss; 3) increasing PreK to third grade literacy.