The early years shape a child’s development and future success. Research shows that early education programs can improve children's school readiness and later academic achievement, particularly for those children most in need. SEDL's expertise and work in this area focus on school readiness, prereading skills, prekindergarten programs, and family involvement in supporting education.
— Corine Holmes, Early Reading First Reading Coach, Tallulah Elementary, Tallulah, Louisiana
Early Reading First Results Shine
Tallulah, Madison Parish, Louisiana
Brighter futures await a group of preschoolers in Madison Parish, Louisiana. The children showed gains in language and literacy as part of the Bright Futures Early Reading First project. During this 3-year project, SEDL partnered with Madison Parish and the Delta Community Action Association-Tallulah Head Start to improve the literacy and language development of some 250 children in three preschools serving low-income families. Our final evaluation found significant gains in children’s receptive vocabulary, letter recognition, and print awareness skills as well as significant increases in teachers’ instructional knowledge in developing early literacy and language.
Read more about the project Read the final report
Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC): The SECC provides professional development and technical assistance to the state education agencies of Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, and South Carolina to build their capacity to support districts and schools in meeting student achievement goals, including school readiness and early childhood education. Work varies by state.
Texas Comprehensive Center (TXCC): The TXCC provides professional development and technical assistance to the Texas Education Agency and the state’s 20 regional education service centers to build their capacity to support districts and schools in meeting student achievement goals, including school readiness and early childhood education.
Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Southwest: The REL Southwest assists the states of Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas in using data and research evidence to address high-priority education needs in the region. The project addresses early childhood issues through two research alliances: The Arkansas Prekindergarten Research Alliance focuses on the quality and effectiveness of the state’s prekindergarten programs by examining high-quality programs and their impact on school readiness and grade 3 success. The New Mexico Prekindergarten Research Alliance addresses the need for a comprehensive, statewide preK–12 data system to inform and support prekindergarten policy and practice decisions.
Southeast Comprehensive Center (2005–2012): The Southeast Comprehensive Center provided technical assistance and professional development to the state education agencies of Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina to build their capacity to improve student academic achievement, including school readiness and early childhood education. Work varied by state.
Texas Comprehensive Center (2005–2012): The Texas Comprehensive Center worked with the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and the state’s 20 education service centers to build staff capacity to improve student academic achievement, including school readiness and early childhood education. For example, staff assisted TEA in revising a home-based program for 3- and 4-year-old migrant children to support migrant families in developing children’s school readiness and language and literacy development.
Bright Futures Early Reading First Project: SEDL worked with the Madison Parish Public Schools and the Delta Community Action Association-Tallulah Head Start on the Bright Futures Early Reading First project to develop, test, and refine strategies for creating family-friendly preschools that support language and literacy development. The project involved 250 preschoolers from low-income families in Tallulah, Louisiana. SEDL staff worked to increase parental involvement in children's language development and provided training on research-based literacy instruction for young children. In addition, SEDL researchers conducted a quasi-experimental study to evaluate the project's effectiveness. Significant gains were found for children’s receptive vocabulary, letter recognition, and print awareness skills, and instructors showed significant increases in their knowledge of literacy and language instruction.
Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Survey Design: Funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, this multiyear project involved developing a national study design to gather periodic information on the Migrant and Seasonal Head Start (MSHS) programs and participating families. The project was led by the CDM Group, Inc., and partners included Abt Associates, Inc.; the National Center for Latino Child and Family Research; Social Dynamics, LLC; and the Catholic University of America. SEDL had a staff person on the design team, which planned MSHS sampling, worked closely with the MSHS programs, and collected and analyzed data.
Infant/Toddler Training Care: During the 1990s, SEDL early-childhood specialists participated in a nationwide pilot program designed to enhance professional services for both center-based caregivers and family-based childcare providers for at-risk infants and toddlers.