Every day in Austin, we’re working to ensure each child has access to high-quality education, every family has the tools they need to be financially stable, and health and human services are readily available for all.
One thing that sets United Way for Greater Austin apart from other non-profits is that all of our programs are research-based and results-driven. We are happy to announce the latest set of data showing our Success By 6 program is making a measurable, positive impact on local children.
Between August of 2014 and July 2015, five AmeriCorps members were placed at seven Early Learning and Child Development Centers (five of which we work with through our Center Project, two that are family-serving agencies with early literacy programs). The members provided intensive math and literacy interventions to children for seven months. The AmeriCorps members engaged in both small group and one-on-one instruction with the children using research-based curriculum.
Results from this project are extraordinary and broken down in three ways: gains made in language development, gains made in math skills and gains made on any assessment.
100% of children who received the intervention made gains in either their math or vocabulary levels, if not both.
First, we looked whether children participating in the intervention showed improvement on either their language or math skills. Language skills were assessed by the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT) or its Spanish equivalent, Test de Vocabulario en Imágenes Peabody (TVIP). These assessments look at a child’s ability to understand specific words that are said to them, which is called receptive language ability.
The math assessment was developed by UWATX’s Success By 6 staff and was based on the High Scope Numbers Plus curriculum. It measures a child’s ability to count, sort and label shapes, sort by size and finish patterns.
Out of the 138 children who received both a pre- and post-assessment on at least one of the areas (math or language), 100% of the children showed gains. This means that every child made gains on at least one of the assessed areas, if not both.
Out of the 138 children who had a pre- and post- assessment on the PPVT or TVIP (language tests), 123 made gains (89%). Of the 15 children that did not make any gains, 11 were already developmentally on target or ahead of target in their receptive language abilities. This means that at the end of the intervention period, 134 children (97%) either made gains across the intervention period or were already developmentally on target.
The PPVT and TVIP also provide us with great information about how large these gains are for each individual child. The average intervention period, as measured by the time elapsed between their language pre- and post-assessments, was almost seven months long. In a typically-developing child experiencing no intervention, we would expect about a seven-month gain in receptive language skills during this seven month time period. On average, children in our intervention gained over 17 months of language development in just seven months–this is about ten more months than expected.
Out of the 133 children who had a pre- and post-assessment for math, 131 made gains (98%).
Please support our Success By 6 program so that we can help even more low-income kids in Austin make strides in their language and math abilities, all before they even enter Kindergarten.