The academic journal Child Development Research recently ran an article entitled Economic Disparities: SPARK Ohio and Narrowing the Kindergarten Readiness Gap. The authors examined assessment scores  of new kindergarteners to gauge the school readiness of SPARK and non-SPARK children from varying socioeconomic backgrounds.

Their conclusion? “Children living in economically disadvantaged environments perform better on a kindergarten literacy readiness assessment when they participated in ... the SPARK Ohio program compared to peers who did not participate in the program.” 

The authors further suggest that supporting SPARK may be a way for schools to use their Title I funds to reduce economically induced disparities in readiness.