Preparing Every Child to Be Ready to Read and Ready for School Success.
Our mission at Kidango is to prepare children for success in school and life. But this mission is not what makes us unique. Many school districts, preschools, and other educational organizations say something similar. What makes Kidango unique is how we work to achieve this mission and how we prove it.
In 2015, Kidango took a new path. We were already the largest preschool organization in the Bay Area and one of the largest in California and the U.S. Getting bigger was our norm, but why? What purpose did getting bigger serve? So we chose to take a different path, and began to focus on improving our quality, as defined by how much our children were learning and developing. We wanted our children, who are mostly low-income children of color, to be as ready for school as their middle and upper income peers.
Research shows that low-income children can start school anywhere from 6-18 months behind in language development. In California, this gap at kindergarten translates to half of our 3rd graders not being proficient in language and reading. 3rd grade reading is one of the strongest predictors for high school graduation and college enrollment, which in turn are strong predictors for lifetime socio-economic well being.
This is why Kidango chose to focus first on improving our early language and literacy instruction, and we did so by partnering with SEEDS and its creator Kate Horst, starting in the 2016-17 school year.
SEEDS of Learning is a proven, relationship-based professional development program that provides educators, parents and caregivers with strategies to build social, emotional, language and literacy skills in young children, so they are ready to succeed in kindergarten. To learn more about how we implemented SEEDS, please read this brief: (link to white paper)
PROVING SEEDS WORKS
In 2017, the NORC Institute at the University of Chicago began a rigorous three year evaluation of the impact SEEDS has on children’s language and literacy skills at Kidango. Funded by the Rainin Foundation in Oakland, this study will help us better understand how SEEDS works, and most importantly, how big an impact it has on children’s learning.
In 2020, due to the pandemic, NORC decided to release the study’s Year 2 results because Year 3 was disrupted. Usually it takes time for a program like SEEDS to work, which is why the study was for three years. But Year 2 results were so strong, releasing them early was an easy decision.
See our great results from implementing SEEDS!