February 25, 2013

SPARK Races to Expand

As reported in the winter 2013 edition of the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Canton newsletter:

As part of its Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge Grant competition, the U. S. Department of Education awarded a grant of almost $70 million to the State of Ohio, to improve programs serving high-need young children and to carefully measure the results of these programs.

In its grant application, the state proposed that by 2015, it would increase access to high-quality early learning experiences for more than 37,000 children and improve kindergarten readiness test results by five percent. The goal is to ensure that high-need children are academically, physically, and socio-emotionally ready for kindergarten.

Among other things, the state is seeking to increase the number of high-need children with access to high-quality early learning and development programming, and to help educators improve their credentials, knowledge and skills. To that end, the state has allocated $1.1 million from the grant award to expand SPARK Ohio programming and the Ready Schools model into three high-need rural Ohio communities from 2013 through December 2015.

This funding will allow 300 additional four-year-old children to get ready for kindergarten by participating in SPARK.

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From its Cleveland headquarters, the Sisters of Charity Health System provides oversight, leadership and strategic direction to more than 20 organizations responding to community needs in Canton and Cleveland, Ohio, and South Carolina.

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