[kids-lib] In the News: new study on the impact of preschool

Katie Anderson katie.anderson at state.or.us
Wed Jun 13 09:20:48 PDT 2012

Hi! A recently published study in Michigan is well-worth noting.

Here is a news article about the study: http://www.mlive.com/education/index.ssf/2012/06/study_on_michigan_early_childh.html

Here is the actual study (which I haven't had a time to read in full yet): http://bridgemi.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/GSRP-evaluation-may-21-12.pdf

Here are the key quotes I took away from the news article that are note-worthy:

*         more pre-K participants graduated from high school on time than their peers who had no pre-K education (58 percent to 43 percent). For minorities, the graduation gap was even wider - 60 percent [graduating] for pre-K participants to 36 percent [graduating] for those with no formal early childhood education. [This is a great research quote to use in grant applications and advocacy work-save it!]

*         all the research says it's money well-spent. If you expect a payoff in the next quarter, you're not going to see it. You have to be patient. You have to understand what these types of programs do for children."

*         The lowered grade retention levels pay 45 percent of the cost of the Great Start program, even before taking into account higher high school graduation rates and subsequent higher lifetime earnings. [This is a great research quote to use in grant applications and advocacy work-save it!]

*         Children who attended a public pre-K school program had greater success throughout their K-12 career, including graduating at a higher rate, according to a first-of-its-kind study that followed more than 500 Michigan children for 14 years.

*         The study followed 338 children from Detroit, St. Clair County, Kalamazoo, Muskegon, Wyoming and Roscommon who attended Great Start as 4-year-olds in 1995-96, and 258 demographically similar children who qualified for Great Start, but didn't attend any type of pre-school before entering kindergarten.

What does this mean for public libraries?

*         Libraries are in a position to provide high-quality early learning programs for the children who qualify for state funded preschool, but don't attend any type of preschool. State funded preschool in our state is called Oregon PreKindergarten (OPK).

*         To achieve even greater impact, libraries can provide early literacy training to the parents of these children. Parents spend more time with their children than anyone else, their interactions with their children have the greatest impact on later success in school and life. Parents who can't get their kids into state funded preschool need to hear this and be provided training so they can facilitate effective, fun learning interactions with their kids.

*         Libraries need to partner with organizations who are already serving these children (Healthy Start and WIC are two examples) and bring early literacy programming for children and their parents to the locations those families are already going to regularly. These are the families who have the most difficulty getting to the library so bring the library to them!

*         All these programs can be provided to parents and children at no upfront cost to families.

Katie Anderson, Library Development Services
* Youth Services Consultant * Oregon Center for the Book Coordinator *
Oregon State Library, 250 Winter St. NE, Salem, OR 97301
katie.anderson at state.or.us<mailto:katie.anderson at state.or.us>, 503-378-2528

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