The vision of The Learning Collaborative (TLC) is that children and parents working together can overcome at-risk beginnings through early educational intervention, paving the way for success in kindergarten and beyond, fostering a love of learning, self-confidence, and hope for their future. The five-star nationally certified pre-school program focuses on hands-on involvement among teachers, students, and families.  Instead of paying tuition, TLC parents must volunteer a minimum of seven hours each month per enrolled child to assist in the classroom, lending library, office, or anywhere as needed. TLC staff coach parents through parent-teacher conferences to help guide parents through the partnership that should exist between a parent and a child’s teacher. 

Research continues to show the importance of early childhood education in helping children to achieve in school and succeed in life. It is an educational investment in an individual child that also produces benefits for the entire community. By age five, children have already experienced the greatest developmental period in their lives. By the time they enter kindergarten, children from economically disadvantaged backgrounds without access to quality early education programs may already have started to fall behind their more advantaged peers. Yet, studies have found that children who participate in high-quality early education programs, are more on grade level with their more economically advantaged peers and the benefits continue as they have increased high school graduation rates compared to their peers who did not participate in early education programs. Programs like The Learning Collaborative help more children to have access to a high-quality education program that helps lay a foundation for future academic success and positive contributions to our entire community. 

Myers Park Presbyterian has partnered with The Learning Collaborative for several years to provide financial, discipleship and relational support. Currently, a team of disciples serves as classroom assistants to teachers at least two times per month.  These disciples provide in-classroom assistance to help students develop a love of learning and prepare for kindergarten. Come join the Teacher Support Team at TLC.  For more information on how you can serve and support TLC, contact Priscilla Chapman, ministry team leader, at priscilla.n.chapman@gmail.com.