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Early Childhood

 

Prenatal to Grade 3 (P-3) Alignment Initiative

The purpose of this project is to create stronger connections between elementary schools and the providers of early childhood care and education programs, and between schools and the parents of young children in 10 grantee communities across Oregon. Ultimately, expected changes include a more collaborative early learning-elementary school system, greater family engagement in learning, and more children entering school ready to learn. The evaluation team will work to design evaluation strategies that will facilitate sustainable changes in grantees’ ability to collect, compile, and use information to guide their local initiative. Initially, the evaluation team will be developing data collection tools, providing data collection and utilization training and technical assistance, and conducting systems evaluation data collection and analysis.

 

Funding:        Oregon Community Foundation
Start Date:      2014
 

End Date:      Ongoing
Contact:          Beth Green

 

Evaluation of the Start Making a Reader Today (SMART)

The purpose of this evaluation is to begin to understand the effectiveness of the "early" (PreK and Kindergarten) SMART models in building young children’s interest and confidence in reading.  The goal of the Start Making a Reader Today (SMART) program is to support young children to develop early reading and literacy skills, as well as to increase their interest, confidence, and enthusiasm about reading.  SMART pairs trained adult volunteers with elementary school children, primarily in schools serving significant proportions of low-income families. 

 

The evaluation has several primary goals: (1) identify a set of measureable outcomes appropriate for PreK and KSMART; (2) identify and pilot test appropriate tools, sensitive to PreK and KSMART supports; (3) develop a  system for collecting data about key outcomes that does not create an undue burden on teachers, SMART volunteers, or SMART staff; and (4) assess program effectiveness using the most rigorous design possible given the classroom-wide implementation of the SMART program.

 

Funding:        LifeWorks NW
Start Date:     2012

End Date:      2016
Contact:          Beth Green


 

Process Evaluation of Oregon's Kindergarten Readiness Assessment Pilot Project

The purpose of this project is to conduct a process evaluation of Oregon's efforts to implement a standardized kindergarten readiness assessment tool in elementary schools throughout the state. In Fall 2012, the Oregon Department of Education will pilot the selected tools (Easy-CBM and the Child Behavior Rating Scale) in 16 elementary schools across the state. The process evaluation will collect information about implementation of the tools, including quality of training, ability of teachers to implement tools with fidelity, appropriateness of the tools for particular demographic subgroups of children, and usefulness of the tools for teaching and communication with parents. Information from the pilot will be used to improve the training and implementation of the statewide assessments in Fall of 2013. 

 

Funding:        The Ford Family Foundation
Start Date:     2012

End Date:      2013
Contact:         Beth Green

 

 

Early Works! Evaluation at Earl Boyles and Yoncalla Elementary Schools

The Early Works! Initiative is a policy and programmatic effort being led by the Children’s Institute to design, implement, and evaluate innovative approaches to early childhood services. Early Works! projects are guided by a vision for children’s services that believes that universal services from birth, that are integrated and aligned with elementary schools, driven by involved and committed parents, and focused on common goals and data-driven decision making can effectively and efficiently help improve children’s success in school and reduce achievement gaps between students. Two project sites are currently implementing Early Works! projects: the Earl Boyles Elementary School in southeast Portland, and the Yoncalla Elementary school in Yoncalla, Oregon (outside Roseburg).  The evaluation team works in partnership with project leadership to collect outcome and process information about community needs, system changes, and child, parent, and community outcomes.   

 

Funding:        The Children’s Institute and the Ford Family Foundation
Start Date:      2011

End Date:      Ongoing
Contact:          Beth Green

 

 

Multnomah County Project LAUNCH Evaluation

Multnomah County Project LAUNCH is one of a number of federally-funded demonstration projects design to improve child wellness by improving early childhood service systems. Multnomah County LAUNCH provides both direct services, such as early childhood mental health consultation and Positive Behavioral Intervention and Support services to home visitation and child care, and a Parent Help Line linked to 211Info call centers, as well as workforce development (including training primary care health providers to conduct early and systematic screening for developmental and social-emotional disorders) and systems development, such as social marketing campaigns. The evaluation includes outcome and process evaluation of both service components and systems change, including annual assessment of the functionality of Multnomah’s current early childhood system. In addition, Multnomah County LAUNCH is being evaluated through a national cross-site evaluation headed by Abt Associates. 


Funding:        Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Start Date:     2010

End Date:      2015
Contact:         Beth Green

 

 

Oregon! Ready to Learn Initiative Evaluation

An evaluation of the training, planning and implementation programs awarded grants from the Oregon Community Foundation’s Oregon! Ready to Learn Initiative. The purpose of the Initiative was to strengthen the capacity of communities to provide evidence-based early literacy services to children birth to three and their caregivers.

 

Funding:        Oregon Community Foundation 
Start Date:     2001
End Date:      2005
Contact:         Kirstin O’Dell