Shelby County Schools has adopted public health’s multi-tiered model of intervention for achieving more positive outcomes for higher-risk children.
• Primary prevention is designed to keep problems from emerging.
• Secondary prevention is designed to stop and reverse the slide toward negative outcomes.
• Meanwhile, tertiary prevention approaches are focused on young people who need the most serious and immediate intervention.
The most vulnerable students in Shelby County are concentrated within alternative schools.
Literacy is context specific.
Literacy is necessary for college and career readiness and success.
Many Shelby County Schools (SCS) students are not college ready in reading.
Low-income youth are less likely to be proficient in reading.
Some groups of low-income students are doing much better than others.
Young adults’ literacy levels reflect early learning, school environments, and family and community factors.
Stronger, individual-level measures of literacy level need to be part of any literacy intervention.
Low-income children have weaker early reading skills.
Weaker pre-reading skills make learning to read more difficult.
Kindergarten readiness gaps become academic achievement gaps.
A child of professional parents typically has heard 45 Million words by age four.
A child in an impoverished family typically has heard 12 Million words by age four.
A child of professional parents hears on average 12 positive statements for two negative statements.
A child in an impoverished family hears on average 1 positive statement for two negative statements.
Adverse early childhood experiences influence language development in the early years.
Early disadvantages in development lead to lower levels of kindergarten readiness.
Readiness gaps become academic achievement gaps and grow wider over time.
All test scores improve after one year for Pre-K.
Children with multiple family risk factors show the greatest improvement in scores after one year of Pre-K.
Early childhood differences influence reading readiness…
Memphis, TN, 2012
These research findings are based on state-funded pre-kindergarten programs and high quality early childhood programs such as High Scope Perry Preschool, Chicago Child-Parent, and Abecedarian Project.
Brief: The Benefits of Pre-K: What the Research Shows
Download full brief (PDF, 07/2014)
Young children need a variety of skills to make a successful transition to school. Cognitive skills—skills related to thinking, knowing, and learning—are an important component of school readiness (Claessens et al., 2009; Duncan et al., 2007). Cognitive development begins long before school entry and is affected by children’s early environments. This policy brief explores environmental influences on cognitive development, and focuses on parenting and language development.
Some highlights of the brief:
» Children from disadvantaged backgrounds are less prepared for kindergarten and are more likely to fall behind their more affluent peers once they reach school.
» Parents can be key players in promoting the cognitive and language skills that children need at school entry.
» Interventions that increase parental responsiveness, that improve parental language, and encourage reading can help decrease school readiness gaps between children from different backgrounds.