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SPARK Final Report Presentation


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Results of findings from a 5-year evaluation of the SPARK initiative.

Published in: Health & Medicine
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SPARK Final Report Presentation

  1. 1. W.K. Kellogg Foundation SPARK Networking Meeting Battle Creek, Michigan January 28, 2009 Supporting Partnerships to Assure Ready Kids Initiative Level Evaluation Results Patrick A. Curtis, Vice President, Walter R. McDonald & Associates Kate Anderson Simons, Consultant, Walter R. McDonald & Associates
  2. 2. The SPARK Hypothesis <ul><li>Key stakeholders in local communities came together and formed partnerships for the purpose of getting vulnerable children ready for school and schools ready for children. They accomplished this with transition and alignment strategies, with existing resources in the community, and without creating new organizations or bureaucracies. </li></ul>
  3. 3. READY KIDS Headlines Enrollment <ul><li>As of May 31, 2008, the eight grantees enrolled 8,109 children into SPARK. Three grantees surpassed enrolling 1,000 children and two others enrolled close to 1,000 children. </li></ul><ul><li>Of all SPARK children, 78.7 percent were children of color—most were African-American (43.7%) or Hispanic/Latino (22.4%)—21.3 percent were white. </li></ul>
  4. 4. READY KIDS Headlines Enrollment <ul><li>SPARK enrolled vulnerable children: </li></ul><ul><li>There were mostly children of color in six of the eight grantee enrollments. </li></ul><ul><li>Approximately one fourth of the children did not speak English as a primary language. </li></ul><ul><li>Approximately half of all SPARK children were eligible for Head Start or a publicly funded pre-K program. </li></ul>
  5. 5. SPARK Florida Risk Factors (2005–2006 through 2007–2008 School Years) Children Free / Reduced Lunch (%) Special Ed (%) ESOL (%) Kindergarten SPARK (N=391) 93 6.6 60 MDPS (N=25,963) 60 5.9 52 First Grade SPARK (N=391) 92 6 44 MDPS (N=25,963) 69 7 51 Second Grade SPARK (N=482) 92 9 37 MDPS (N=26,024) 70 8 42
  6. 6. READY KIDS Headlines K indergarten Readiness <ul><li>Results from project-level evaluations demonstrated that SPARK got children ready for school. </li></ul><ul><li>Several parent surveys supported the finding that children were ready for kindergarten because of participation in SPARK sponsored transition activities. </li></ul>
  7. 7. SPARK Ohio
  8. 8. SPARK Hawaii Children with ECE Compared to Children without ECE and Non-SPARK children Key: 1 = Not Yet; 2 = Beginning; 3 = Sometimes; 4 = Almost Always. I-HSRA Domains SPARK HI with ECE n = 49 SPARK HI without ECE n = 118 Non-SPARK n = 448 Approaches 3.2 3.1 3.0 Literacy 3.2 3.0 2.7 Math 3.3 3.1 2.7 Behavioral 3.4 3.3 3.0 Social / Emotional 3.4 3.3 3.0 Physical Well-Being 3.6 3.5 3.3
  9. 9. <ul><li>SPARK children continued to show success through the first grade. </li></ul><ul><li>One grantee demonstrated that 2 years of SPARK had a more positive impact on academic performance in kindergarten and first grade when compared to 1 year of SPARK enrollment. </li></ul><ul><li>One grantee reported that SPARK children continued to outperform comparison children through the second grade. </li></ul>READY KIDS Headlines Success in School
  10. 10. SPARK Florida First Grade Grades by Number of Years in SPARK
  11. 11. SPARK Ohio Canton City On-Time Promotion for SPARK and Non-SPARK Children Children Grade 1 Grade 2 Cohort I (Fall 2005) SPARK 94.4% (n=36) 79.4% (n=34) Non-SPARK 89.7% (n=116) 76.5% (n=115) Cohort II (Fall 2006) SPARK 98.0% (n=51) Non-SPARK 93.2% (n=103)
  12. 12. READY SCHOOLS Headlines <ul><li>WKKF charged the ILE Team with identifying characteristics of successful schools that serve vulnerable children </li></ul><ul><li>The resulting document is called Pathways to Ready Schools </li></ul><ul><li>The State of North Carolina adopted the Pathways to Ready Schools for every elementary school in the State </li></ul>
  13. 13. READY SCHOOLS Headlines <ul><li>SPARK grantees advanced the evaluation of ready schools—the grantees used formal and informal measures to assess progress toward ready schools in the SPARK partnerships. </li></ul><ul><li>SPARK Mississippi and SPARK DC demonstrated quality improvement in individual classrooms over time. </li></ul><ul><li>SPARK Georgia demonstrated changing school culture through the application of the case study method. </li></ul>
  14. 14. SPARK Mississippi ECERS Subscale Scores for Public School Classrooms
  15. 15. READY SCHOOLS The Ready School District <ul><li>Through visiting diverse school districts nationwide, the ILE Team determined that a Ready School District has: </li></ul><ul><li>Leadership </li></ul><ul><li>Vision </li></ul><ul><li>Commitment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No child is left behind </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>All means all </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. READY COMMUNITIES Headlines <ul><li>Results from an Internet-based survey of SPARK stakeholders were overwhelmingly positive and were interpreted as evidence of partnership implementation, energy and morale. </li></ul><ul><li>Grantees were highly successful in building partnerships with traditional stakeholders in ECE and elementary school education, but were less successful with engaging non-traditional stakeholders such as business leaders and the clergy. </li></ul>
  17. 17. READY COMMUNITIES Headlines <ul><li>Grantees changed school culture using a community-based approach. </li></ul><ul><li>They began with elementary school principals and teachers and linked them with the ECE community around strategies for supporting children in transition from pre-K to kindergarten. </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>The grantees leveraged almost $100 million over the 5 years of SPARK implementation. With an additional $6.8 million of in-kind contributions, the total came to $106.4 million </li></ul><ul><li>The grantees reported on more than 23,000 volunteer hours from families and other members of their communities. </li></ul><ul><li>Scaling activities were extensive, diverse, and successful, but there was no systematic data collection pertaining to scaling. </li></ul>READY COMMUNITIES Headlines
  19. 19. All SPARK Grantees Total Resources Leveraged to Date June 2003 through May 2008 Grantee Total Leveraged Funds Total In-Kind Contributions Total Leveraged Resources DC $6,019,000 $158,750 $6,177,750 Florida $53,680,115 $1,475,000 $55,155,115 Georgia $24,993,487 $1,756,322 $26,749,809 Hawaii $2,576,365 $1,634,186 $4,210,551 Mississippi $389,680 $113,888 $503,568 New Mexico $1,207,975 $806,225 $2,014,200 North Carolina $7,194,555 $697,336 $7,891,891 Ohio $3,543,800 $193,963 $3,737,763 Total $99,604,977 $6,835,670 $106,440,647
  20. 20. WKKF/RO SUPPORTS TO THE INITIATIVE Headlines <ul><li>SPARK grantees cited numerous ways in which WKKF and the Resource Organizations supported and impacted their projects. </li></ul><ul><li>Grantees would have preferred smaller meetings and more grantee-to-grantee communications. </li></ul>
  21. 21. Final Thoughts <ul><li>The grantees improved significantly in Years 4 and 5 in evaluating project effectiveness in getting children ready for school. </li></ul><ul><li>The evaluation of schools participating in SPARK was a challenge. The assessment of individual classrooms and schools could not capture all that transpired and all of what SPARK accomplished. </li></ul><ul><li>  The pathways describe schools that combine knowledge and respect of ethnic and cultural history with an attitude that all students are capable of succeeding in the modern world. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>
  22. 22. Final Thoughts <ul><li>The team cautions against taking the lessons learned from SPARK for granted. </li></ul><ul><li>The ILE Team hopes that all of us will not forget that much of the success of SPARK resulted from its emphasis on community-based partnerships. </li></ul><ul><li>Ready schools are essential to school readiness—without ready schools, children are prepared to learn in failing schools, resulting in a fadeout of the skills gained in early childhood. </li></ul>
  23. 23. <ul><li>Patrick A. Curtis, Ph.D. </li></ul><ul><li>Vice President </li></ul><ul><li>Walter R. McDonald & Associates, Inc. </li></ul><ul><li>12300 Twinbrook Pkwy, Suite 310 </li></ul><ul><li>Rockville, MD 20852 </li></ul><ul><li>(301) 881-2590 ext. 245 </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>