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Learn Early Learning Initiative

Early Learning Initiative

The Early Learning Initiative (ELI) engages area preschool students in active learning activities that get them ready for school and ready to ask questions about the world through University Circle institutions. 

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Engaging, interactive lessons and investigations address the learning needs of preschool children and reinforce the skills, knowledge, and dispositions essential for school readiness. ELI inspires a sense of wonder and broadens young children's view of themselves and their world. ELI impacts 900 four and five-year old children, their teachers, and their families, currently serving preschools in Cleveland, East Cleveland, Maple Heights, Lorain, Oberlin, Elyria, Vermilion, and North Olmsted.

 University Circle offers young children and their grownups:

  • Hands-on Learning – Through hands-on learning children are given meaningful experiences that help them commit content to memory.
  • Minds-on Learning – Activities allow children to develop thinking processes and encourage inquiry to build their knowledge base.
  • Hearts-on Learning – The affective benefits that visits to museums and other informal learning environments offer relate to the personal connections made by the learner creating memorable experiences.

By the Numbers

Since the program began in 1997 more than 20,000 students have been served

Last year we:

  • Served 1,031 students and their parents, guardians, and other family members
  • Visited 60 classrooms
  • Engaged with 140 preschool educators and teacher aides
  • Partnered with 8 cultural institutions
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Did You Know? – Early Learning is Important!

Early Childhood, 0-6 years old, is a critical time in the life of a person; research indicates that 90% of brain development occurs before age 6. The brain is developing its framework for all future learning. Young children find an innate joy in learning, and need to explore, discover, and make sense of self and the physical and social world. 

The basis for a child's sound cognitive, social and emotional development is established during this time and informal learning plays a key role by providing a wide range of experiences cultivating a child's observational and inquiry skills.

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Thank you to PNC Bank for helping us create the CircleWalk Adventures: Finding My Place in University Circle activity book! The book complements our CircleWalk self-guided walking tours with activity pages that highlight attractions and landmarks in University Circle. Used in our Early Learning Initiative classes, this book is available for all kids at the University Circle Visitors Center, or at the PNC Bank locations at 2025 Stokes Boulevard and 8220 Carnegie Avenue. Requests for up to 20 booklets can be made by phone at 216-791-3906.

Download a copy of the activity book here

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