The Dunbar Learning Complex employs a comprehensive approach to ensuring young children are learning and on track to become proficient readers by the end of third grade. This approach involves strategies and supports around effective teaching, child-centered learning environments, parent empowerment, evidence building and physical, social and emotional health. The complex is employing a two-generation approach that combines high-quality early education and supports for children, programs to improve the caregiving skills of parents and others and to provide economic support services for parents — all to improve outcomes for the entire family. By partnering with The Center for Working Families, Inc. and Sheltering Arms’ Georgia Training Institute, the complex is also able to help parents improve their financial stability. As of 2012, approximately 20 percent of the staff at Educare Atlanta resided in the neighborhoods surrounding the complex, having completed the training offered by Georgia Training Institute.
Another distinct feature of the complex is that it consists of two schools — one public and one nonprofit — that share a building and goal of making sure all children are able to read proficiently by the end of third grade. Both schools use evidence-based curriculums and programs to prepare children to succeed in school. They also work together closely — through joint staff training and sharing student data — to make the transition from one school to the other smooth and seamless for the children and their families.