The New E3 School Board Book Drive

Here at The New E3 School, we LOVE to read and we LOVE our books – especially our youngest children!

That’s why we’re having a BOARD BOOK DRIVE for our 1 and 2-year-old classrooms (board books are much more durable for infants and toddlers).

Will you donate a board book or two?

Our preschoolers were delighted to help with the drive and decorated a big box for you to fill up.

We would love to get books about science, math, the ABCs, rhyming words, animals, dinosaurs, trucks and anything that helps our students learn.

Drop off books today at The New E3 School in Norfolk.

Posted on July 19, 2019 .

Back to Nature


You cannot go wrong with bubbles & polka dots on a summer day! One of the special places at our school is the nature playground. It is a place where children can run, dig, plant, play in water, collect rocks, read on a tree stump, crawl through tires & see-saw with their friends. 

The other day when I was there, I saw a sand and water table turned into a pot of soup. It might have looked like mulch, soil and water to you, but a group of children worked together to cook up a delicious soup for all to enjoy.

When you walk through our nature playground, you will see children banging chimes in the music center, building castles with blocks, making forts and painting at the outdoor easel.

There is nothing typical about our playground. You will not see a swing or slide. What you will see is creativity, imagination and brain building happening in nature. We bring the learning outside and have lots of fun too!

You can get back to nature with your children at home. Take some time with your child this summer to:

·      Collect rocks, leaves and seashells on a nature walk and then count all the things you gathered.

·      Separate your items into groups and classify them by color or shape.

·      Talk about what you see around you – bugs, butterflies, birds and plants.

·      Plant flowers in a garden or clay pot.

·      Take chalk outside and draw on the pavement.

·      Play hopscotch or jump rope.

·      Wash cars, bikes & windows with a bucket of soap & hose.

·      Blow bubbles

Summer is the perfect time to learn outdoors and make some wonderful memories with your family!

Posted on July 12, 2019 .

Establishing the Building Blocks of High-Quality, Early Childhood Education


Amanda Williford, an associate professor at the University of Virginia Curry School of Education and Human Development who partners with leaders across Virginia to lead research and assessment efforts for Virginia’s Early Education Initiatives, recently featured E3: Elevate Early Education and The New E3 School in an op-ed published by The Hill.

"Coalitions such as the Elevate Early Education (E3) initiative have established an entire demonstration school devoted to the most important elements of high-quality, early childhood education, including STREAMin3, an innovative, engaging, and interaction-based, birth through preschool curriculum. With state and private support, we have piloted this innovative curriculum model in 100 classrooms across the state," she wrote.

Read the complete editorial here.


Posted on June 13, 2019 .

How Does a Caterpillar Become a Butterfly?

That is the question that we are pondering. Our children are building their science and math skills as they observe caterpillars, think about their needs, read a book about the process and discuss metamorphosis.

The Butterfly Man came for a visit to show us the life cycle of a butterfly. Our preschoolers had a chance to hold a chrysalis, cocoon, butterfly specimens and much, much more!

Posted on May 14, 2019 .

Mindfulness Linked to Children’s Ability to Regulate Feelings & Emotions

Mindfulness is maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of your thoughts, feelings and bodies. Research tells us that yoga practice in early childhood and elementary classrooms teaches children self-awareness, breathing techniques, how to deal with stress and mindfulness.

The most recent research conducted in elementary schools found that students who were part of a 12-week practice 4x a week showed decreases in their negative responses to emotions and stress.

That is exactly why mindfulness and yoga are built into The New E3 School’s program and the STREAMin3 curriculum model. Angela Phillips, of Angela Phillips Yoga works with our teachers and children to help them use these techniques everyday. It fits perfectly with the social-emotional focus of our curriculum. Click this link to check out Angela Phillips in action during The New E3 School’s yoga time!


Through yoga, we are giving children great tools to help them:

  • Manage stress

  • Be happier

  • Calm their bodies

  • Be caring and kind to others

These are skills that will last a lifetime!

Lisa Howard

President & CEO

E3: Elevate Early Education & The New E3 School

Posted on May 8, 2019 .

UVA President Running in Honor of TNE3S's Mrs. Emily


University of Virginia President Jim Ryan is running in honor of educators including The New E3 School’s Mrs. Emily.

Today marks the 121st annual Boston Marathon, and Ryan will be continuing a tradition he started as dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, dedicating his run to beloved educators.

“Running and teaching are two of my biggest passions,” Ryan said. “Running the Boston Marathon in support of teachers has become a personal tradition and I’m honored to be able to bring the tradition to UVA and support the important work of educators.”

Ryan will hit the pavement today with the names of 26 teachers – one for each mile – adorning the back of his T-shirt. Each of the 26 names was submitted by a donor to UVA’s Curry School of Education and Human Development. Along with a donation, donors had the opportunity to name an educator who made a difference in their lives. Ryan will be running mile 3 in honor of The New E3 School’s own Emily Porter.

Posted on April 15, 2019 .

Building Science Skills

Last week, our children in the one-year-old to three-year-old classrooms were busy exploring the effects of salt and food dye on ice. Check out these pictures and videos of STREAMin3 in action. It is such fun to watch and listen to the teachers and children engaged in exploring how things change. Listen carefully to the conversations and questions. Our teachers do an amazing job making sure our children are learning the CORE & STREAM skills, but having a blast while doing it. Learning should be fun, encourage curiosity and help children think about what is happening around them. 

It's Opening Day!

When you play or watch baseball, you are seeing STREAM (science, technology, reading, engineering, arts and math) in action! Both of my boys are baseball fans (one loves the Yankees and the other is a Red Sox’s fan). When I asked my younger son if he wanted to play baseball, he replied, “Do you have any idea how hard it is to hit that ball with a bat?” That was his way of saying no. He is absolutely right about what it takes to move that ball. It takes force and energy to get that ball from the pitcher’s mound to home plate. Think about the science in every pitch. Then there is the engineering of the ball, bat, glove and helmet. And let’s not forget about the math (statistics! statistics! statistics!). Did anyone read the book or see the movie Moneyball? The game of baseball uses a lot of math to figure out batting averages, runs and the speed of every pitch.  

Did You Know? 

·         The baseball team with the most World Series titles is the New York Yankees. It is 27 to be exact.

·         The oldest baseball park still in use is Fenway Park (a must see and so old school).

·         Jackie Robinson was the first African American to play in Major League Baseball. He played for the Brooklyn Dodgers and helped his team reach the World Series.

·         The song Take Me Out to the Ball Game is about a girl named Katie Casey who loved baseball. There was a time when you would not have seen a woman at the ballpark. This song that we all love and sing at the seventh inning has a much deeper meaning.  

STREAM activities to do with a child: 

·         Playing catch and throwing a baseball.

·         Measuring how far you throw the baseball and graphing it.

·         Collecting baseball cards (The Dollar Store sells them) and matching them.

·         Making a baseball book.

·         Going on a baseball scavenger hunt.

·         Collecting baseball hats and sorting them by color and logos.

·         Creating a baseball field with art materials.

·         Creating your own ballpark outside using your imagination.

·         Cheering on your favorite team in your jersey and baseball hats (we even dress up our Labs).

·         Reading a book about baseball.

·         Going to see a little league, minor or major league game as a family. Go Tides! Go Flying Squirrels! Go Nationals!

It is like any sport, there are so many lessons to be learned about discipline, hard work, grit, stick-to-itiveness and teamwork. Not to mention, it is so much fun to take in a game with family and friends on a beautiful spring or summer day at the ballpark.

Lisa Howard

President & CEO


March Madness Begins @ TNE3S!  

It all started yesterday with Selection Sunday! That is when we learn who will be invited to compete in the tournament and who are the top seeds. The four number one seeds are Duke, Gonzaga, UNC and UVA.

On Tuesday, The New E3 School is kicking off our second annual March Madness at the Y on Granby with local college basketball players and volunteers to shoot hoops.

Children paint team banners and select their team name today in preparation for March Madness.

During all of this madness, our children will be working on the core skills of regulate, relate and move. Let’s not forget the character building that happens too. Whether you are watching or playing the game, children will learn to:

 ·      Work hard

·       Practice & persist

·       Relate to the feelings of others (win or lose)

·       Play with enthusiasm, energy & zest

·       Work as a team

Fun Activities: 

·       Make a Book Bracket

·       Shoot hoops with different size balls

·       Count how many baskets you make

·       Pass the ball (team-building activity)

·       Move fast and slow up

·       Run up and down the court

·       Make a hoop with mixed media

·       Dribble & shoot drills

There are many teachable moments as you and your family watch and play.  Let your child fill out the bracket or make their own, highlight as teams win and explain how the math works in simple terms. March Madness is a great way to spend time with family and friends cheering on your favorite team. There are many stories of adversity, determination and perseverance that will be told during the games. Talk to your child about what it takes to reach a goal and play the game.

Lisa Howard

President & CEO


Let’s Make March Matter for Children: A Letter from our President & CEO, Lisa Howard

Every fall, too many children in our region and state are struggling as they enter school. Two in five children enter kindergarten ready to fail. Children who start behind, stay behind their peers. Without early intervention, the achievement gap continues to widen.

The evidence is clear­—high quality early education can close the achievement and readiness gaps. That is why E3: Elevate Early Education created The New E3 School, an innovative mixed-income model for children ages one to five in the Park Place neighborhood of Norfolk. The school focuses on the most important elements of high quality that lead to kindergarten readiness.

Over the last two years, our four-year-old children were assessed on their readiness to enter school. Most children met or exceeded kindergarten entry benchmarks in literacy, math, social skills and self-regulation. More importantly, they are developing a curiosity and love of learning that will last a lifetime.

The curriculum model developed in the school by UVA’s Center of Advanced Study of Teaching & Learning is being piloted in 100 classrooms across the state. Our work is advancing early education and impacting many children in Hampton Roads and Virginia.

We believe, as I know you do, every child deserves a high quality education and that begins with early education. Sadly, we turn away children and families every year who need a scholarship for their child to attend our school. There are over 30 low-income children on the waiting list for a scholarship. Will you give to the Scholarship Fund?

If you have not visited The New E3 School, please contact me at to set up a tour and see the impact our school is having on so many young children. Thank you for your consideration and support.

With gratitude,

Lisa Howard  President & CEO  E3: Elevate Early Education & The New E3 School

Lisa Howard

President & CEO

E3: Elevate Early Education & The New E3 School


Make March Matter for Children: The Case for High-Quality Early Education in Virginia


The Problem

Every year, many children in our region and state enter kindergarten ready to fail. It will be tough for them to catch up without intervention.

In 2018, 42% of kindergarten students in participating school divisions of the Virginia Kindergarten Readiness Program entered kindergarten not ready in one of the critical learning domains of literacy, math, self-regulation or social skills. 

The Solution

High quality early education can close the achievement and readiness gaps.

The New E3 School is a state-of-the-art school in the Park Place neighborhood of Norfolk for children ages one to five. Our innovative mixed-income model focuses on the ingredients of high quality that lead to kindergarten readiness. The STREAMin3 curriculum developed by UVA’s Center for Advanced Study of Teaching & Learning (CASTL) includes:

·         Curriculum focused on the five core skills (relate, regulate, think, communicate, and move) and six STREAM skills (science, technology, reading, engineering, arts and math)

·         Professional development to support teachers’ understanding of child development

·         Coaching to improve teaching and learning in the classroom

·         Assessments of children’s skills and classroom quality

The STREAMin3 model is being piloted in 100 classrooms (private, faith-based, the Virginia Preschool Initiative and Head Start) across the state.

The New E3 School is a demonstration model that proves high quality results in kindergarten readiness. The school is advancing early education and impacting children in the region and across Virginia.

The Results

Four-year-old children from The New E3 School were assessed in 2017 and 2018 on their readiness to enter kindergarten. Most children met or exceeded the kindergarten entry benchmarks for literacy, math, and self-regulation. Some children did not meet the benchmark for social skills.

How You Can Help

Contribute to our scholarship fund! We believe every child deserves a high quality early education. Your gift will provide the opportunity for a low-income child to attend The New E3 School.

$50,000: provides a scholarship for a child to attend the school for five years.

$10,000: provides a scholarship for a child to attend the school for one year.

$2k-$5k: provides a partial scholarship for a child.

$500-$1k: provides financial assistance to a low- or middle-income family.

Mindfulness For All Ages


Our children at The New E3 School begin their day with mindfulness. They learn basic breathing and yoga practices. Why? Mindfulness and yoga helps children to:

 ·        Reduce stress and anxiety (believe me they feel stress too)

·         Form habits of being quiet, peaceful, kind and accepting

·         Regulate feelings and control their bodies

We are so thankful to have Angela Phillips of Angela Phillips Yoga Studio train our teachers and children. They are learning basic breathing and yoga techniques. The teachers and staff had to embrace this practice and model for our children. The best way to do that was to help them see the benefits that mindfulness brings to their classroom everyday. Not only does it help children manage stress, but it helps teachers too.

 What a great way to start and end your day! Try a few breathing techniques and yoga poses before bedtime or naptime. There are some wonderful children’s books that provide illustrations of simple poses for all ages to do. Make it part of your family’s routine.


Lisa Howard

President & CEO

Posted on February 26, 2019 .

Professional Development @ The New E3 School

Our STREAMin3 Curriculum Model developed by UVA’s Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning (CASTL) includes coaching and professional development for our teachers.

We had a professional development day this week focused on the Core Skill of Communicate. Our team enjoyed a speaker from Brain Balance and team building activities to build a sense of community among staff. Check out the pictures below of our wonderful staff!

Posted on February 19, 2019 .

Governor's Year In Review featuring The New E3 School

Many of you were with us when we launched WE3: Women Elevating Early Education last spring. The First Lady of Virginia, Pamela Northam was with us at The New E3 School to kick off the initiative. 

Governor Northam's Year in Review will be given out this evening after the State of the Commonwealth. An image of the First Lady of Virginia visiting with our children on the nature playground will be featured. Many of you may not know this, she worked side-by-side with our architect, builder and me to create a place that would stimulate a child’s imagination and creativity more than a traditional playground. WE created an open-ended outdoor play area for children to make discoveries, explore and interact with their environment. This approach connects children back to nature and stimulates creativity and imagination. I like to refer to it as our “old school” playground. It reminds me of how I grew up exploring, running, climbing and using my imagination outside.

WE wanted you to be the first to know that our school is featured. WE are excited that the First Lady of Virginia has made expanding access to high quality early education a priority. Our cause could not have a better spokesperson or leader. If you haven’t toured The New E3 School, email me at and let’s set up a visit. 

With gratitude,


Lisa Howard  
President & CEO
E3: Elevate Early Education & The New E3 School

Posted on January 9, 2019 .

Gingerbread House-Building & Decorating Event: Thank You!

Our Gingerbread House - Building & Decorating event was a hit with the neighborhood & New E3 School children and families.

It was fun to see the excitement that filled our school on Saturday. The adults and children equally enjoyed the holiday activity stations & decorating the gingerbread school modeled after The New E3 School.

Thank you to those of you who gave your time on Saturday as volunteers. And a special thank you to all of our sponsors. The fun-filled day would not have been possible without YOU!


 Merry Christmas & Holiday Cheer to All! We look forward to seeing you in 2019.

 With gratitude,

Lisa Howard

President & CEO

E3: Elevate Early Education & The New E3 School



Posted on December 20, 2018 .

Holiday Traditions

We have many family traditions, but a few of my boy’s favorites are seeing what the elf left in the Advent calendar (not so much anymore), building a Lego Christmas village, building & decorating gingerbread houses and making (and mostly eating) homemade cinnamon rolls on Christmas Day. Every year since my two boys were young the activity that seemed to grow in popularity was building and decorating gingerbread houses. Over the years, we invited friends, family and neighbors to join us in the festivities. As the boys grew older, we started having a competition to see who could make the best one.

This year I asked my youngest son, Liam what he thought we should do for our annual event. He replied, “ I want to build the biggest gingerbread house ever!”  I think those holiday reality baking shows are influencing him. A few minutes later he was texting a dear friend and almost-like –a –grandmother his idea. It wasn’t long before it became a BIG idea and a BIG event. And, that is how the gingerbread house-building idea was born.

Then we all starting talking and thinking about how we could make this an event for our children and families at The New E3 School, the neighborhood of Park Place and ALL children in the community. As the plans evolved, we realized that we were going to need an architect and builder. T + M Architects and Hourigan Construction stepped up to help us make this plan come to life.

My two boys, Zack and Liam, Caroline McCartney, John Tymoff with Tymoff Moss Architects and I had an official meeting to brainstorm ideas and determine next steps. That is when it was decided that we should design and build a gingerbread house modeled after our school. The children and families of The New E3 School became involved in the planning too. We made a list of all the supplies we would need from plywood to graham crackers and candy. Then we came up with a plan on how to raise the money to make sure that ALL children and families could participate.

Now, we are asking YOU to help us create a New E3 School family tradition. Will you?

E3-FBCover-GingerbreadBuilding (002).jpg

We hope to see you @ The New E3 School on December 15th!!

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays to all!

Lisa Howard  President & CEO, E3: Elevate Early Education & The New E3 School

Lisa Howard

President & CEO, E3: Elevate Early Education & The New E3 School

Scholarship & Financial Assistance Application Deadline

We believe that every child, regardless of their zip code, deserves a high quality early education. That’s why we want to make sure all children have the opportunity to attend The New E3 School.  

For those who qualify, scholarships and financial aid are awarded throughout the year thanks to the generosity of our donors.  Our Scholarship Committee awards scholarships through a needs-based process.  All families seeking scholarships from The New E3 School must complete a scholarship application, provide financial statements and supporting tax documents.  

The deadline to apply for the next round of scholarships and financial assistance is December 15, 2018. Please email for more information and to apply.

TNE3S flyer 9-18.jpg

Giving Tuesday: Support TNE3S's Scholarship Fund!


#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration.

Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.

This #GivingTuesday, you can support children in our community by investing in The New E3 School’s Scholarship Fund.

This year, we were able to award children from low-income families scholarships to attend The New E3 School. We have watched these children reach developmental milestones, grow and develop key readiness skills in language, literacy, math, science and social skills.

Every year, we turn away many children and families who desperately need access to high quality early education. Your gift to The New E3 School’s Scholarship Fund will go towards providing a scholarship to a child from a low-income family in our community. Please join us this #GivingTuesday with a gift to The New E3 School.

Posted on November 27, 2018 .

Join Us for a Lunch, Learn & Tour of our State-of-the-Art School!

Are you a parent or grandparent with a young child age one to five?

Join us for a lunch, learn & mini-tour of our state-of-the-art school.

Find out what sets our school apart from the rest and what makes it a special place for children to learn, grow and thrive.

Thursday, November 29th, 11am - 12 Noon
The New E3 School is located at 2901 Granby Street
(next door to the Y on Granby)



Why The New E3 School?

Our innovative model is focused on the most important elements of high quality that lead to kindergarten readiness. At The New E3 School, our children develop the skills to become active, engaged, creative and successful learners. They will become critical and creative thinkers, problem solvers, communicators, and collaborators who love to learn, explore and work together.

The model includes:

·         STREAMin3 Curriculum developed by UVA's Center of Advanced Study of Teaching & Learning (CASTL)

·         Professional Development & Coaching to Ensure High Quality Teaching and Learning in the Classroom

·         Fresh & Healthy Snacks & Lunches

·         Nature Playground & Outdoor Classroom

·         Yoga & CrossFit for Kids

·         Year-Round Program

·         Assessments of Children's Development & Kindergarten Readiness

·         Mixed-Income Model School for ALL Children ages 1 to 5


Learn More About What Makes Us Unique!

We believe every child deserves a high quality early education. That is why we want to make sure all children have the opportunity to attend. For those who qualify, financial assistance and scholarships are awarded.


Posted on November 19, 2018 .

Volunteering & Giving Back

At The New E3 School, we believe in giving back and know how important it is to support our community. We’ve held supply and book drives, we’ve participated in fundraising walks and had our own Giving Tree around the holidays. It’s never too early to teach children the importance of volunteering and giving back!

Age-appropriate volunteering is the perfect way for children to explore their talents and feel that they are a part of something larger than themselves. Getting younger children involved in the community through volunteering is a powerful way to teach them morals and empathy toward others.

The benefits of volunteering also apply to children who volunteer with their parents. Taking part in family volunteering opportunities is a great way for parents to spend time with their children doing something positive for their community.

Volunteer Hampton Roads Family Volunteer Day is later this month. We’ve identified volunteer activities for our youngest volunteers below.

Saturday, November 17, 2018, at Virginia Wesleyan University from 9 a.m. – noon

Registration is open to the public, visit Volunteer Hampton Roads’ Family VOLUNTEER Day page to sign up.

Family VOLUNTEER Day Events

Through this day of service, more than 500 volunteers will complete projects that will benefit nonprofits in Hampton Roads.

CHIP Rock Painting

Help CHIP "rock" by volunteering to paint rocks at this station.  CHIP will ask volunteers to hide the painted rocks throughout Hampton Roads to raise awareness on the importance of the first 2,000 days of a child's life.  We have a goal to paint 2,000 rocks by December 31.  Appropriate for children ages 5 and up. This project will take place at Virginia Wesleyan University from 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Off-site Family VOLUNTEER Day Projects: Little Hands, Big Difference Day

50 volunteer spots are available for our littlest volunteers (age 10 and under) to participate in various service projects with the Junior League of Norfolk-Virginia Beach. Little Hands, Big Difference offers fun, hands-on volunteer activities for young children to include sorting food donations, writing thank you cards, making no-sew fleece blankets and more.  This event will take place from 10am-2pm at the Blocker YMCA Gym and is appropriate for children ages 2-10 years old.