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Our new regional needs assessment is hot off the press!  We want to ensure that our region's parents, educators, and communities … 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 SUPPORTING PARTNERSHIPS TO ASSURE READY KIDS™ began as a collaboration between the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Canton. SPARK is now managed and operated by the Early Childhood Resource Center. Working with numerous foundations, community organizations, and school districts throughout Ohio, the program continues to grow. SPARK programs are now operating in 22 school districts in 10 Ohio counties.

The SPARK kindergarten readiness program works with children, families, schools, and the community to ensure that children are ready for school and schools are ready for families.

  • SPARK is a family-focused intervention program designed to prepare children for kindergarten by helping families help their children succeed in school.
  • SPARK engages participating families in structured lesson plans and activities aligned with Ohio’s Early Learning and Development Standards, administers developmental assessments and screenings, and initiates referrals to needed community resources.
  • SPARK and schools work collaboratively to ensure that children experience smooth transitions into school.

The program is based on a home visitation model. Trained home visitors called parent partners conduct prescribed lessons, based on Ohio’s Early Learning and Development Standards, with preschool-age children and their parents. They educate parents on how to get children ready for kindergarten, evaluate children’s skill levels, and enhance parents’ abilities to be their child’s first and most important teacher.

SPARK also conducts developmental screenings, provides referrals and linkages to community resources, and offers home- and group-based learning opportunities, with the goal of increasing children’s success in school and life. The SPARK team includes professionals in the fields of early childhood education, mental health, and speech and language development.

 

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