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Marsico Institute for Early Learning and Literacy

Marsico Institute

Connecting children, families and teachers with the best in early childhood research.

The Marsico Institute for Early Learning and Literacy (MIELL), which is part of the Morgridge College of Education, is a research and social policy institute dedicated to improving learning environments and outcomes for children, birth to age 8.

At the Marsico Institute, we identify the best in early learning research, practice, and policy, and we deliver that information "just in time" to academics, practitioners, policymakers, and parents: the people who can create and implement changes to improve the lives of young children. We focus on early childhood because more than 93% of brain development occurs before the age of five. The quality of relationships and learning opportunities that young children experience can set the stage for what they will be able to accomplish throughout the rest of their lifetimes.

Featured News: Connect4Learning jumpstarts science and math for preschoolers

C4L is a curriculum that is currently being piloted between the Marsico Institute and Kennedy Institute, headed by PIs Douglas Clements, Julie Sarama and others. 

Preschoolers engaged, teachers enthusiastic about moving math and science to the head of the class.

The 4-year-olds at All Souls School in Englewood, Colo., are learning their shapes and numbers within a science lesson about sea creatures. It's a new approach to early childhood education that focuses more attention on science and math while incorporating important literacy connections along the way. You can see the video above, or find out more here

Featured Event: The Raising of America 

Raisng Of America

On April 28, 2015 the Marsico Institute hosted a screening of the Raising of America documentary and a panel discussing how to ensure all Colorado children are valued, healthy and thriving.      

The discussions were very powerful. The panel discussion was filmed by Rocky Mountain PBS and you can watch it below .

The panelists included:

  • Stacy Howard, Qualistar Colorado,
  • Bill Jaeger, Colorado Children’s Campaign
  • Lynn Johnson,  Jefferson County Department of Human Services
  • Brenda McChesney,  Strengthening Families Network
  • Lydia Prado, Mental Health Center of Denver.

Thank you to our partners for their support in making this amazing event happen. Click here to view the program and executive summary.

Partner Logos

Watch the Raising of America Panel and Q&A, thanks to Rocky Mountain PBS


Featured Resources

Featured Resource: A

Read what others are writing about research co authored by Douglas Clements For many years, advocates of early education have focused on reaching children and their families. Getting more four-year-olds into pre-K, for example, has been an important and increasingly successful rallying cry. But as pre-K expansion accelerates and the science of children advances, we are at a new fork in the road. Brain science is continuously showing just how much children’s growth and development is affected by their interactions with people around them. It is time to get real about what young children, especially the most vulnerable, truly need from the teachers and other caregivers with them every day. Read more here! 


Featured Resource: B

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) and The National Research Council (NRC) is pleased to announce the release of the report, Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth to Age Eight: A Unifying Foundation, authored by the Committee on the Science of Children Birth to Age Eight: Deepening and Broadening the Foundation for Success. Douglas Clements is one of the co-authors of this prestigious document. You can read the report here.



C Block

The Marsico Institute for Early Learning and Literacy (MIELL) is assisting the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction (NDDPI) in conducting a state-mandated study. Read more here.