Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy

Children, Youth and Families

Opening the World of Learning: Features, Eeffectiveness and Implementation Strategies


Opening the World of Learning (OWL) is a comprehensive pre-K curriculum that has a particular focus on language and literacy. This article describes the general structure and content of OWL and reports results of a secondary analysis that examined results from multiple waves of data collected from eight Early Reading First Programs that served over 3,000 children. Results indicate consistent positive effects across projects, with year-to-year improvements in children's scores, with substantial growth being observed after year one in language, print knowledge, and phonological awareness outcomes. Firsthand experiences of those implementing OWL provide insight into some of the challenges programs face as they implement the curriculum and strive to accelerate children's language and literacy development. [article abstract]

Publication Type: 
Journal Article
Publish Date: 
September 23, 2009

Nellie Mae Education Foundation nominates Pious Ali for the Lawrence W. O'Toole Award

Pious Ali

Pious Ali, Youth and Community Engagement Specialist in Cutler’s Children, Youth, and Families Programs, has been nominated for the Lawrence W. O’Toole Award by the Nellie Mae Education Foundation. Pious is one of six nominees from the New England states.

The Nellie Mae Education Foundation believes that student-centered learning – where learning is personalized, engaging, competency-based and not restricted to the classroom – will prepare young people to graduate high school ready to contribute to their communities and succeed. This award is given out each year to an individual, school district, or non-profit that has exhibited great leadership in moving student-centered approaches to learning forward in the New England region.

The winner will be selected by online voting and will be awarded a $100,000 grant to help advance student centered learning!


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MYTC 2014 Celebration

Colby Swettberg, May 2014, MYTC

Every year the Maine Youth Transition Collaborative brings together youth and adult partners from around Maine to celebrate the year's achievements and milestones.

MYTC’s fourth annual celebration dinner was held at the Brunswick Hotel and Tavern on May 13, 2014. Over seventy young adults, adult partners, professionals, legislators, adoptive families, and friends came together for an evening of fun, renewed connections, learning, and good food.

The importance of mentors in the lives of young people was the theme for the evening. The keynote speaker, Colby Swettberg, Executive Director of Adoption and Foster Care Mentoring in Boston, was introduced by Jacob Hills. Ms. Swettberg talked about what good mentor-mentee relationships look like for youth in foster care and led a discussion about best practices and challenges to bringing youth and mentors together.

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