In collaboration with Rebecca Cirzan (Candelen), Rene RedDay (Building Community), and multiple local stakeholders, Dr. Caroline Black is co-leading a feasibility and pilot study of Elevate Pre-K (EPK), a preschool program serving children of families between 101% and 250% of the federal poverty level in Flagstaff, Arizona. EPK uses High Scope and Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies (PATHS) curricula to target core cognitive, social, and self-regulation skills underlying young children’s early educational success. The objective of the proposed study is to (a) identify any modifications required to effectively implement curricular training, professional development, data collection, and monitoring, (b) establish the extent that teachers implement curricular components as intended by program developers, and (c) determine whether child participation in EPK corresponds with gains in children’s school readiness (e.g., pre-reading skills, prosocial behavior, behavioral regulation).
We hypothesize that teachers who successfully complete curricular training will adhere to intervention practices, which in turn will promote the effective use of evidence-based strategies and children’s gains in school readiness indicators (i.e., executive function, early reading skills, self-regulation, emotional knowledge, and prosocial behaviors). Ultimately, we anticipate that by improving the school readiness of children whose families have limited access to high-quality early education, EPK will help to mitigate disparities in educational achievement for children of low-income families. This project is supported by the Helios Education Foundation.