P-3 Leaders Fellowship

Decades of research and practice show just how important and interconnected children’s experiences are during their first 8 years of life, from birth through third grade. This period, which we refer to as “P-3” (Preschool to 3rd Grade), is a critical time because of the unparalleled pace of neurological, physiological, and social development, and is fast becoming recognized as one of the most important periods in a child’s education. The opportunity to set children on a path to school achievement and to better life outcomes is greatest in this P-3 period.

All too often, however, we miss the opportunity to provide children and families with the best experiences possible during these critical years. Different systems serve the P-3 age group, with different operating styles, needs, and resources. Because of this, children’s experiences are often disconnected, which can lead to lost gains socially and academically.

To address this, GEEARS is happy to announce the P-3 Leaders Fellowship. Atlanta-based leaders from both early learning programs and local school systems are uniquely positioned to create meaningful change for this age group, creating a more aligned and seamless experience across the birth-8 continuum. Rarely are early learning and school system leaders afforded the chance to work together, develop solutions for themselves, and implement those coordinated practices, but the P-3 Leaders Fellowship is a prestigious opportunity to do just that. In addition, the P-3 Leaders Fellowship will distinguish participants as newly minted experts in the field. Through this fellowship, leaders will build their capacity to address early education needs and ensure that children are prepared for future school success, all while becoming recognized leaders in early education.

GEEARS invites school and center leaders from the Atlanta area to apply to the P-3 Leaders Fellowship for the 2019 – 2020 academic year. Leaders from across the P-3 continuum will convene to build capacity, share and reflect on best practices, and take advantage of a leadership development opportunity from a cohort of others working in the early childhood space. Through this program, fellows will become some of the leading voices in the shift towards strengthening early childhood outcomes and will receive individual and school recognition for completion.

The What

  • The P-3 Leadership Institute provides competitive applicants from Atlanta an opportunity for early childhood program and elementary school leaders to come together, develop as P-3 leaders, and better serve children and families.
  • 4 full-day training sessions with lunch, designed for elementary and early childhood leaders covering:
      • Networking and relationship-building across all P-3 settings
      • Collaborative sessions on identifying quality and opportunities for alignment in instructional practices, curricula, assessments, data sharing, and developmentally appropriate practices. 
      • The design of ongoing collaboration plans to enrich experiences for families and students and ensure future collaboration across settings.
  • Participants who complete the fellowship receive:
      • Final completion ceremony & celebration outside of working hours
      • Individual and school-level recognition
      • Schools and centers with a graduate fellow receive priority when applying for grants to support their ongoing P-3 work
      • CEUs available through the Department of Early Care and Learning.
  • Sessions for the ’19-’20 year are tentatively scheduled to be held on a bi-monthly basis, beginning September 2019 and ending in March 2020. Specific dates will follow.


The Why

  • Distinguish your leadership by becoming an experienced voice in the P-3 continuum.
  • Change the culture in your school community by using the fellowship experience to communicate the power in early learning and inspire action
  • Develop relationships with your counterparts in either early learning centers or elementary schools to promote seamless, integrated educational pathway from preschool through 3rd grade

The Who

  • Atlanta area early learning Program Directors or leaders with Director’s reference may apply
  • Atlanta area public elementary Principals, Assistant Principals, or other school leaders with Principal’s reference may apply
  • High preference given to applicants that apply with their counterpart(s) from early learning programs or schools in their area/school cluster

The How