The ExCELL program of the Literacy Institute at Virginia Commonwealth University brings together families, early childhood educators, community resources, and early literacy specialists with the goal of ensuring that children receive the learning opportunities (at home, at preschool, and in the community) necessary to develop critical early language and literacy skills known to predict later reading success. 

ExCELL promotes the development of preschoolers' early language and literacy skills through four main program components:

Professional development and classroom based coaching.

Teachers and coaches attend monthly PD together and work to implement practices into the classroom.

High quality instructional materials and children's books.

Carefully selected materials and books support the PD subjects.  Teachers and children are excited about new things in their classrooms!

Family literacy events and home literacy materials.

Families enjoy getting to know one another and learning about how they can help their children become better readers.


A variety of tools are used to measure success including the CLassroom Assessment Scoring System, the Early Language and Literacy Classroom Observation and the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test.
ExCELL in Amherst County 2014-16
90 children and their families participated each year in ExCELL. 
PALS-K results:  96% of children scored above the benchmark!!!
ExCELL in Bedford County 2017-18
10 VPI classrooms and 1 Head Start classroom participated in ExCELL.
PALS-K results:  95% of children scored above the benchmark!!!
ExCELL in Bedford County 2018-19
9 VPI classrooms and 8 Head Start classrooms are participating!  We look forward to positive outcomes this academic year.

Our goal is to bring ExCELL to all of Central Virginia's school districts and Head Start preschool classrooms!  Please help us by donating.  Click here :

                             Thank you to the following sponsors for their support: