Program Evaluation Grants
Evaluating Co-Constructive Elaborative Storytelling for African and African-American Preschoolers: $241,324 over two years
Co-Constructive Elaborative Storytelling is a classroom storytelling program that trains teachers to bridge home-school practices by using rich, elaborative language as they incorporate oral storytelling interactions during their circle-time routines. CET draws on home and community-based cultural oral discourse practices to support children's development of oral language, early literacy and socio-emotional skills necessary for a successful transition to formal schooling. The current evaluation project aims to: 1) adapt Co-Constructive Elaborative Storytelling (CET) for use in prechool classrooms serving low-income African-heritage children, and 2) assess the efficacy of CET in supporting children's school readiness skills. The investigative team is led by Drs. Adina Schick and Gigliana Melzi from New York University.
Early Bridges: Impact of a Preschool Theatre Arts Program on Low Income preschoolers' School Readiness Skills: $310,570 over three years
The aim of this project is to conduct a randomized control program evaluation study to document the potential direct and moderated impact of a preschool theatre arts program, Early Bridges (EB), on the school readiness of ethnically diverse, low income preschoolers, including English language learners. We will examine the impact on oral language (storytelling), theatre arts and learning-related social skills, and play, and examine whether different groups of preK students benefit from EB differently from other groups of preK students (e.g., ELL vs. non-ELL). Early Bridges is a program of the Children's Theatre Company, located in Minneapolis, MN. Dr. Amy Susman-Stillman, Principal Investigator, and Dr. Michelle Englund, co-Principal Investigator, are both at the Center for Early Education and Development, Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota.
Enhancing Child Development through a University-Library Partnership: Evaluation of Books Can....: $289,283 over three years
Books Can...© is a 6-week interactive parent/child program that provides adults with strategies for using joint book reading to engage in positive interactions that support their child's social-emotional development and school readiness. Using a randomized control trial (RCT), this project will evaluate the effectiveness of Books Can...© on changes in parent knowledge, perceptions of libraries, and behavior, as well as children's self-regulation and language development. This program also seeks to highlight and promote the value of community-based program offerings, particularly at the public library, as a way for parents to develop knowledge and skills important for helping children enter formal schooling ready to learn. The Principal Investigator is Dr. Michelle Taylor and Co-Principal Investigator is Dr. Megan Pratt of the T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics at Arizona State University.
Educare Randomized Control Trial and Age 5 Assessments: $792,225 across three different grants
Grounded in research, Educare is a full-day, full year early care and education program for low income children birth to age 5. It is focused on narrowing or closing the achievement gap by kindergarten entry as a foundation for success in school and in life. Using a randomized clinical trial design researchers consented, conducted initial assessments and randomly assigned 239 children and their families (from five Educare schools) to treatment and control groups. They began following the children and their families, measuring children's cognitive, language, social-emotional and excecutive functioning outcomes, including a longitudinal follow-up of the children before they enter kindergarten. This project is led by Drs. Noreen Yazejian and Donna Bryant at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Public Montessori Preschool Outcomes in a Low-Income Community: $400,000 over seven years
This longitudinal study is following 3-6 year old children in two high-fidelity Montessori magnet schools and a control group of 3-6 year old children in business-as-usual schools located in Hartford, CT. Using a randomized wait list control group deisgn, this study assigned about 140 children into treatment and control groups. The principal investigator, Dr. Angeline Lillard of the University of Virginia, conducted a pilot study published in Science in 2006 showing that children at public Montessori schools in Milwaukee had significantly better outcomes than lotteried-out counterparts at other Milwaukee area schools.
Family Academy: Researchers and Practitioners Improving Outcomes for 0-3 Year Olds: $365,000 over three years
This longitudinal project studies the promising family-centered Family Academy model and tests its efficacy using a randomized wait list control group deisgn. This unique model was developed through a grassroots community engagement process with participants, practitioners and researchers. Located in Minneapolis, MN, the Family Academy is the early childhood parent education component of the Northside Achievement Zone (NAZ), a zone-based approach to building a continuum of eduational and social support for children, birth to age 18, and their families, ensuring that all children in the NAZ are college-ready. The Principal Investigator is Dr. Lauren Martin from the Center for Early Education and Dvelopment at the University Research and Outreach/Engagement Center (CEED@UROC) at the University of Minnesota.
Improving Self-Regulation and School Readiness in Preschoolers: $280,414 over three years
This project will develop and evaluate the initial effectiveness of an intervention training executive functioning, metacognition, and self-regulation in preschoolers attending certain high poverty Cincinnati preschools. Studies show that these skills are critical for school performance, and that children with better executive functioning have better long term outcomes. It is also important to intervene early when children are most likely to profit because their brains are rapidly developing. There are some promising programs targeting these skills in preschoolers, but few are available to teachers for implementation in the classroom setting. The specific aims of this study are: 1) to adapt a promising clinic-based program for the preschool classroom environment, and 2) to test the feasibility and initial impact of the adapted program on executive functioning and school readiness in schools with a high proportion of children from low income families. The Principal Investigator is Dr. Leanne Tamm at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.
Development and Effectiveness of the Minnesota Math Corps: $218,745 over two years
Minnesota Math Corps (MMC) is a tutoring program for students in grades 4-8 who struggtle with math. MMC focuses on helping students develop algebra-ready math skills by using evidence-based intervention approaches, a data-driven model, and dedicated coaching to support program tutors. This two-year project aims to refine the MMC program, evaluate its effectiveness using a randomized control trial (RCT), and test whether its effects are moderated by family income. The first year of the project will include intensive development and refinement in collaboration with various stakeholders and experts. In the second year, MMC will be evaluated in an RCT across 20 schools serving predominantly low-income famlies. The Principal Investigator is Dr. David Parker with ServeMinnesota (Minnesota's AmeriCorps commission). Dr. Peter Nelson, at Pennsylvania State University, serves as co-Principal Investigator.
Collaborative Coaching: Improving Teacher Classroom Practices and Student Achievement in High Poverty Schools: $272,365 over three years
This project aims to develop and evaluate the effectiveness of a collaborative coaching model in certain high poverty New Jersey elementary schools through a generalized randomized block research design (wait list-controlled trial) study. The specific aims are: 1) to examine the quality of implementation of the coaching model; 2) to increase teachers' use of evidence-based instructional and behavioral management strategies embedded in the coaching model; and 3) to enhance academic engagement and achievement. The Principal Investigator is Dr. Linda Reddy and Co-Principal Investigator is Dr. Elisa Shernoff of Rutgers Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology.