Program for parents helps sustain learning gains in kids from Head Start to kindergarten

10/20/2015

An instructional program for parents helps young children retain the literacy skills and positive learning behaviors acquired in Head Start and retain them through to the end of the kindergarten year, according to researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health.

The program appears to offset what education researchers call “summer loss,” or the tendency of children to forget during summer break what they learned during the previous year.

Head Start is a federal program designed to improve school readiness among children living in poverty. In the current study, researchers evaluated the Research Based, Developmentally Informed Parent (REDI-P) program. The problem of summer loss has long been known to affect children of all ages, but it is especially pronounced among children from disadvantaged backgrounds who are just starting school.

The program is centered around home visits from educational counselors, who provide parents with materials, such as books and learning games, and coach them on how to use them.The materials reinforce the social and academic lessons, and preparations for kindergarten that the children learned in the Head Start classroom.

Source: National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Available at: http://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/program-parents-helps-sustain-learning-gains-kids-head-start-kindergarten

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