Early Education

Marion Down Center's Commitment to Early Childhood Education

The Marion Downs Center is dedicated to providing services for children and their families in regards to language and literacy development. 

Our programs support children and their families in the areas of language, literacy, speech, vision, and development. We work with our partners to provide a comprehensive approach for a variety of needs. 

Program Overview Description

The Early Language and Literacy Outreach (ELLO) program promotes oral language development, early literacy, and school readiness for English language learners, children 3-5 years old. ELLO fosters a rich literacy environment that builds the expressive and receptive language foundations necessary for future academic success. Children from low socio-economic homes and dual language learners are at risk of starting kindergarten two years behind their peers. ELLO seeks to close this gap by providing a theme-based learning experiences incorporated into language, cognitive and literacy activities that support each child’s social, emotional and preacademic development.

We build and support community-wide literacy and equipping preschoolers and their families with fundamental tools used in the development of English vocabulary, the ability to read and write, and the capacity to think creatively.

Program History

In 1992, Read, Imagine, Share, Explore (RISE) was created by early childhood educators and speech language pathologists at the Marion Downs Center (MDC) in partnership with the Junior League of Denver to teach early literacy and learning readiness to underserved and low-income children 2-6 years old and their families. In 2018, changes were made to the RISE program and the Early Language and Literacy Outreach (ELLO) program emerged, serving English language learners, children 3-5 years old in a refugee community in northeast Denver.

Program Application/Forms


Parent Resources

www.uniteforliteracy.com - Free digital access to picture books narrated in English and many other languages

https://www.colorincolorado.org/families - A bilingual site for families of English language learners

www.supersimple.com - A collection of original kids’ songs and classic nursery rhymes made simple for young learners. Combining captivating animation and puppetry with delightful music that kids love to sing.