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Check out our 2018 Annual Report to learn about the impacts we're making on the communities we serve. read more >

Tools to promote school readiness, these backpacks are perfect for parents, schools, child care centers, and libraries. Libraries in 16 … read more >

Learn more about the SPARK kindergarten readiness program that’s working with families in 11 Ohio counties.     read more >

SPARK Children Make Gains in Reading and Math

The charts below show the pre- and post-participation scores for the cohort of SPARK children throughout the state who began kindergarten in fall 2016. The results are clear: children gain reading and math skills after participating in the SPARK kindergarten readiness program. This is just one more piece of evidence that SPARK children have a skills advantage, and they’re starting school ready to succeed.

At the beginning of each school year, children in public school kindergarten programs are assessed using Ohio’s Kindergarten Readiness Assessment. This assessment includes ways for teachers to measure a child’s readiness for engaging with instruction aligned to the kindergarten standards. 

Ohio’s Early Learning and Development Standards (birth to kindergarten entry) are the basis for the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment. As you can see, SPARK children outperform their peers in all early learning domains. In addition, kindergarten teachers indicate that SPARK children are more prepared than their peers and their parents are more likely to engage in their child's learning.

The Get Ready to Read! screening tool is a reliable, research-based series of questions for children in the year before they enter kindergarten, to determine whether they have the early literacy skills they need to become readers. The tool was designed to be used by parents and early education providers. It is easy to use even if you don't have formal training in education. 

The early literacy skills that this tool looks at are: print knowledge (refers to a child’s understanding of books, printed letters, and words), linguistic awareness (refers to a child’s understanding of how words and language works), and emergent writing (refers to a child’s first efforts to create and use print in a meaningful way).

The Preschool Early Numeracy Skills Screener- Brief Version (PENS_B) assesses basic mathematical skills focused on number relations and operations that young children must master to be successful at more advanced mathematical skills such as addition, subtraction, and place value. Key skills assessed include verbal counting, one-to-one correspondence, cardinal number knowledge, set/numeral comparison, number order, story problems, and number combinations.


After completion of the SPARK program, children show significant gains in math skills; this is especially true for children who score below average at the onset of the program.

For more information on SPARK results, call (330) 491-3272.

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