DLM Early Childhood Express/Imagine It!

An Evidence-Based Practice


DLM Early Childhood Express and Imagine It! (previously Open Court) are two separate early childhood education curricula that have been paired and found to be effective in improving performance in pre-kindergarten and kindergarten settings.

The DLM Early Childhood Express is a comprehensive, research-based program created according to state and national early-childhood guidelines. The program links language and early literacy, math, science, social studies, fine arts, health and safety, personal and physical development, and technology. Materials include lesson plans with 36 engaging and relevant weekly themes complete with activities that help children make connections, expand on experiences, and build new knowledge of a variety of topics.

Imagine It! is a literacy-based curriculum that focuses on five key areas of reading: phonemic awareness, systematic explicit phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. The Imagine It! syllabus includes fiction and nonfiction literature, novels, essays, poems, songs, and articles.

This program is locally funded by the Children's Services Council of Palm Beach County.

Goal / Mission

To improve the school readiness of children in Palm Beach County.

Results / Accomplishments

The Children's Services Council of Palm Beach County designed and implemented an evaluation of the combined DLM/Imagine It! program in the county. The study found that students who participated in the DLM and Imagine It! curriculum and received intensive curriculum coaching performed significantly better (p<0.05) on measures of vocabulary and letter/word identification than their counterparts who did not participate in the curriculum and received no coaching.

A broader 2008 study of public pre-kindergarten classrooms in Florida found that implementing DLM Early Childhood Express with Open Court (now Imagine It!) resulted in positive outcomes in reading, phonological awareness, and language development in both pre-kindergarten and kindergarten. The paired program was also found to positively impact phonological awareness instruction at the classroom level. The study, part of a larger evaluation of preschool curricula conducted by the Institute of Education Sciences' Preschool Curriculum Evaluation Research Consortium, determined that some of these positive outcomes were significant at levels ranging from p<0.05 to 0<0.001.

About this Promising Practice

Primary Contact
Erin Gallagher
Children's Services Council of Palm Beach County
2300 High Ridge Road
Boynton Beach FL 33426
Education / Childcare & Early Childhood Education
Education / Literacy
Education / Student Performance K-12
Children Services Council of Palm Beach County
SRA/Wright Group/McGraw-Hill Publishing
Geographic Type
Palm Beach
For more details
Target Audience
Submitted By
Children's Services Council of Palm Beach County