SPARK gives children the advantage they need to succeed in school.

Evaluation is a crucial part of SPARK, and SPARK’s evaluation results clearly show the program’s effectiveness. An independent evaluation team from Kent State University analyzes SPARK‘s effectiveness using a rigorous research design. Year after year, the evaluation results show that participating in SPARK gives Ohio’s children the edge that leads to success, both in school and in life.

When the school year begins, the school administers the state-mandated Kindergarten Readiness Assessment (KRA) to incoming kindergarteners. It measures a child’s school readiness in social, physical, and academic areas. 

The chart shows KRA scores for children who began kindergarten in fall 2018. SPARK children significantly outperform their non-SPARK peers in the same classrooms. Because of the SPARK advantage, children start school more ready to succeed!

More information on the KRA is here.

Administrators love SPARK, because they see how well it works once children get to school. Christen Sedmock, Canton City Allen Elementary School Principal, says: 

"I believe SPARK has changed our culture because kids come in ready and more prepared to come to school in terms of following directions, their literacy skills, the concept of print, how to track. I think they just come in a little more advanced and prepared to come in and be in school all day, every day."

While they're participating in SPARK, the Get Ready To Read (GRTR) and Preschool Early Numeracy (PENS) Assessments help gauge children’s progress. The assessment scores show that children gain reading and math skills after participating in SPARK.