The Porter-Leath Early Childhood Academy is a state-of-the-art preschool and teacher training institute that has established a continuum of early childhood education, from prenatal to age 5, that defines and promotes excellence for young children and their families. The Academy is NAEYC accredited and maintains a 3-star quality rating from the Tennessee Department of Human Services.
The Academy provides comprehensive early childhood education and support services for 224 children in 16 classrooms - 8 Early Head Start classrooms for infants and toddlers and 8 Preschool classrooms for 4 and 5 year olds. Designed by early learning facility specialist RDG Planning and Design, the 32,000-square-foot facility, weaves local culture, history and geography into safe, inviting spaces that encourage play and exploration. Its child-friendly architecture utilizes natural light, lush landscapes and bright colors that enrich children’s learning opportunities.
All children enjoy a USDA-approved breakfast, lunch and snack each day at the Early Childhood Academy that is prepared on site. Within the first 45 school days, all children enrolled receive a health, vision, dental and developmental screening at the center.
Porter-Leath Preschool uses evidence-based curricula to ensure children enter kindergarten ready to learn. All classrooms at the Early Childhood Academy are led by two teachers and children also greatly benefit from interactions with Foster Grandparent and AmeriCorps members at the site. Volunteers are welcome in our classrooms, as they help our students build upon their socialization skills. To sign up, complete our volunteer application, or contact us.
The facility features a teacher training institute, the Teacher Excellence Program, to develop successful early childhood educators in partnership with local school districts and early childhood partners. Paired with its outstanding early learning facility, the Academy’s teacher training program lays the groundwork for revitalizing the Shelby County early childhood education system for all providers.
As shown below, 53% of the students at Porter-Leath's Early Childhood Academy come from the surrounding ZIP codes of 38106, and 38109.
Outcomes for three and four-year-old children are measured using the Brigance assessment. Porter-Leath measures child-level progress, based upon age, across seven domains: Gross Motor, Fine Motor, Language Development, Literacy, Math, Self-Help, and Social-Emotional. For the 2017-2018 school year, children at The Early Childhood Academy achieved increases in all domains.
Scores for four-year-old children at this site showed increases of 55% in Gross Motor, 90% in Fine Motor, 43% in Language Development, 126% in Literacy, 103% in Math, 46% in Self-Help, and 52% in Social-Emotional between the beginning and year-end assessments. Three-year-old children achieved increases of 87% in Gross Motor, 103% in Fine Motor, 63% in Language Development, 310% in Literacy, 200% in Math, 62% in Self-Help, and 73% in Social-Emotional.
For children ages birth to three years old, the E-LAP assessment is used and measures the following domains: Gross Motor, Fine Motor, Cognition, Language, Self-Help, and Social-Emotional. During the 2017-2018 school year, children ages birth to three years old at The Early Childhood Academy showed increases in all domains: 13% in Gross Motor, 25% in Fine Motor, 37% in Cognition, 40% in Language, 46% in Self-Help, and 22% in Social-Emotional.