SPARK (Supporting Partnerships to Assure Ready Kids) meeting.
SPARK SUPPORTING PARTNERSHIPS TO ASSURE READY KIDS™ is a family-focused intervention program that prepares children for kindergarten. Although the initial investment in SPARK was made by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation in partnership with the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Canton, multiple funders now support SPARK sites in six Ohio counties.
SPARK helps children get ready for school by building reading, language, and social skills, and seeks to create a seamless transition into school for children ages 3-6. Since 2003, the program has helped more than 2,200 families prepare their preschool-age children for kindergarten while working collaboratively with schools to enhance transition practices.
SPARK parent partners deliver monthly home- and group-based services to families of preschool-aged children. The structured lesson plans and activities SPARK offers are aligned with the Ohio Department of Education’s Early Learning Content Standards. In partnership with mental health agencies and school districts, SPARK ensures that barriers to school readiness are removed. Children with developmental, social-emotional, or mental health issues are linked to community resources to address issues before they prevent school readiness. For six consecutive years, SPARK children have been found to be more prepared for kindergarten, and they retain that advantage through the third grade. (jm)