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Mayor Greenberg announces Early Learning Action Group

Updated: Jun 27, 2023

Community leaders will meet to develop plans, strategies for pre-K, early learning action group programs

LOUISVILLE, KY (RIOT) – Standing with leaders offering their time and talents to help bring new and robust pre-K and early learning options to every corner of the community, Mayor Craig Greenberg on Tuesday introduced the Mayor’s Early Learning Action Group. The group will work with Mayor Greenberg to develop concrete plans and policies for implementing crucial and accessible early learning programs.

“The amazing people offering their time and energy to this action group have signed up for one of the most important tasks I can think of: helping ensure our kids build an educational foundation for lifelong success,” said Mayor Greenberg. “The skillsets, passion and experience these leaders bring to the table are going to help drive our commitment to being a community where every child’s potential is recognized and encouraged. I know this is a lofty goal, but that’s where I believe we need to set our sights, and these are the people who are going to help us get it done.”

The group, which will meet biweekly for six months, will develop a plan to help bring pre-K and early learning options to children across the community. Following guidelines and recommendations from the National Institute for Early Education Research, the Early Learning Action Group will focus on identifying strategic solutions in the following areas to build their plan:

- Governance and Administration

- Financing and Costs

- Eligibility and Pace of Scale

- Structural Program Features

- Workforce

- Standards and Supports for Improvement

- Continuous Improvement and Evaluation

- Integration with City Services

Research has shown the early childhood years are crucial for learning, brain development and enabling future academic and social accomplishments.

“The single best investment we can make is renewing our commitment to giving our children the time, resources and attention they need to thrive,” said state Sen. Julie Raque Adams. “Louisville and Kentucky have been ahead of the curve on educational issues in the past, and I think we can once again lead by working together to let our community, and beyond, know that Louisville is ready to put our kids first.”

The Early Learning Action Group is comprised of leaders from across Louisville representing education, workforce development, nonprofits and multiple levels of government. The members were chosen for their expertise in their fields and their understanding of the importance of providing foundational learning to children prior to entering kindergarten.

“We always say it takes a village. Well, we have some amazing talent in this village and this diverse and talented group is just what we need to ensure that we’re developing the right plan for our littlest learners,” said state Sen. Cassie Chambers Armstrong.

Mayor’s Early Learning Action Group members:

Sen. Julie Raque Adams, Kentucky State Senate, District 36

Jason Adkins, CEO, Ohio Valley Educational Cooperative

Alma Aldana, Adult Programs Manager, Backside Learning Center

Sen. Cassie Chambers Armstrong, Kentucky State Senate, District 19

Ashley Brandt, Director of Early Care and Education, Metro United Way

Ashley Novak Butler, Executive Director, Lift a Life Novak Family Foundation

Marland Cole, Executive Director, Evolve502

Pam Darnall, President and CEO, Family & Children’s Place

Cori Gadansky, Executive Director, Community Coordinated Child Care (4-C)

Benjamin Gies, Director of Government Affairs, The Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence

Rina Gratz, Director of Early Childhood Programs, Jefferson County Public Schools

Mary Jolly, Strategic Partnership Administrator, Center for Health Equity, Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness

Jon Lee, Director, UofL Early Childhood Research Center

Hans Petersen, Regional Child Care Administrator, Child Care Aware of Kentucky

Tony Peyton, Executive Vice President and Chief of Staff, National Center for Families Learning

Rep. Josie Raymond, Kentucky State House of Representatives, District 41

Matt Sawyers, Policy Advisor, Office of the Governor

Jean Scott, Vice President and Assistant Director of Client and Community Relations, PNC

Terry Tolan, Consultant, Center for Nonprofit Excellence

Sarah Taylor Vanover, Policy and Research Director, Kentucky Youth Advocates

Kristen Williams, Executive Director, Play Cousins Collective



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