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Portia Kennel has over twenty-five years of experience in developing, implementing and scaling effective early childhood education and family support programs for high-needs children their families. In 2000, she created the first Educare school to serve very young children at risk of school failure in Chicago's Robert Taylor Homes public housing development. Currently serving as the Executive Director of the Educare Learning Network, she has led efforts to extend the reach of Educare nationally and oversees the Network's training and implementation assistance system. Ms. Kennel has significant experience in social service and research-based early learning models, with a concentration in the design, implementation and management of early childhood education programs for children at risk of school failure, and the staff who serve them. She has extensive experience in understanding family systems and clinical issues related to working with families in and low-income communities. Ms. Kennel holds a Master's Degree in social work from the University of Illinois, is a Zero To Three Fellow, and has served on a variety of state committees and task forces.