On June 13 and 14, the Illinois Birth-to-Third (B-3) Continuity Project is hosting its fourth annual conference. The B-3 Conference is open to school districts and community leaders working toward birth-to-third grade alignment strategies in their community.

Carla Bryant

Carla Bryant

Communities are encouraged to come as teams with representatives from early childhood, K–12 schools, and the broader community. As the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has placed emphasis on the importance of an aligned B-3 system within preschool for all communities, entities holding Preschool Expansion Grants and Preschool for All Expansion Grants should be included within applying communities.

We are excited to have Carla Bryant, director of education strategy and ventures at The Kenneth Rainin Foundation, serve as the keynote speaker this year. With extensive experience, Bryant began leading the foundation’s education investments in September 2017. Her work focuses on increasing the number of Oakland children who are ready for kindergarten and reading at grade level by third grade. She directs funding initiatives to help teachers use effective teaching practices, support families with young children, and build early learning leadership and systems in Oakland.

Bryant has a M.Ed. in early childhood education from Georgia State University. She will complete a Ph.D. in special education at the University of Washington in spring 2018.

Check out the conference website for more details. Questions can be directed to Ashley Long, director of the B-3 Continuity Project, at amlong3@IllinoisState.edu.