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October 28, 2016
Did You Know
Presidential Honor Roll Names Three Local Universities
Congratulations to Akron, Kent State and Walsh Universities for being named to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll - the highest federal recognition that an institution can receive for its commitment to civic engagement, community, and service-learning.
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SPARK's Positive Impact On Stark Area Parents and Children

"During the first five years of life, children learn critical skills such as language and socio-emotional regulation, which provide a foundation for lifelong learning." - Center for American Progress[1]

There is no such thing as starting 'too early' in creating opportunities for children; recent studies are even finding disparities in the abilities of young children as early as nine months. Research shows that children benefit from preschool opportunities that are of high quality.[2] Additionally, there is value added when parents are trained in strategies to support their children at home. Since 2003, SPARK (Supporting Partnerships to Assure Ready Kids) has been working collaboratively with Stark County parents and their children ages 3-6 in providing parent training to support kindergarten readiness. 

Recent data found that more SPARK students (37%) scored in the highest performance band by "Demonstrating Readiness" for kindergarten compared to non-SPARK students (26%). When parents were engaged, the average post-test language scores increased for kids. In a pre/post-test comparison, the number of Stark children ages 3-6 who scored "below" level in reading readiness decreased 23% after participating in the SPARK program. Further, the number of SPARK students whose reading readiness score was "above average" rose 20%.
These findings - as well as those found in a recent article showing kids in SPARK and preschool scoring higher than any other group on the KRA-L[3] - illustrate the positive impact of SPARK combining early childhood education and parent involvement for student learning.

[2] Impacts of Early Childhood Programs. First Focus and Brookings Institution
[3] SPARK Ohio: An Early Childhood Intervention Program Description and Evaluation. The International Journal of Early Childhood Learning
About the Partnership Long Header
The Stark Education Partnership - a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in Stark County, Ohio -  is a catalyst, engaging and collaborating with education, business, civic and community stakeholders to drive sustainable improvement and innovation to provide all students with education and career success.  

Questions or comments? Email or call 330-452-0829. Visit our website at
Stark Education Partnership, 400 Market Avenue North - Suite B, Canton, OH 44702
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