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News and Events 5-12-12: Children, Employment, and Mother’s Day

May 12, 2012

Education Notes from Kate Hovde

Kate Hovde

Kate Hovde, Senior Analyst

Two studies mentioned in EdWeek had us thinking about the importance of thinking (and acting) across sectors:

  1. The Ongoing Impact of Foreclosures on Children, from First Focus, a Washington advocacy group and written by a Brookings scholar, looks at the ongoing and potential educational effects of home foreclosures. According the report, one in ten children in the U.S. are being directly affected by foreclosures. The stress and dislocation associated with moving, and in some cases homelessness, has been shown to negatively affect children’s educational outcomes and social development.
  2. Kindergarten Readiness and Performance of Latino Children Participating in Reach out and Read looked at the Reach Out and Read program, which has pediatricians “prescribe” reading to families with small children during clinic visits starting at six months, in this case for largely a low income Latino population. The program also provides access to books. The study found that despite 37-45% of participating children to be “at-risk” for reading difficulties at the first clinic-based assessment by the end of kindergarten, 60% of participating children were at an intermediate or proficient level of reading and teachers rated 77% of participating children as average or above compared to classmates.

Increasing Young Children’s Contact With Print During Shared Reading: Longitudinal Effects on Literacy Achievement: Recent randomized controlled trials (RCT) that compared programs to teach teachers to make visual connections to text while they were reading to a control group. Program students showed higher levels of literacy two years after intervention—a relatively simple thing to teach parents and teachers to do.

What Strategies Work for the Hard-to-Employ? The research firm MDRC released this week the final results of a ten-year study of eight programs designed to help hard-to-employ populations (including ex-offenders, welfare recipients, and substance abusers). Of the eight programs examined, three showed at least short-term increases in employment, others showed improvements for a sub-group of participants, and three showed no effects. Among the most important findings for donors: programs that combined employment with other services (health services or treatment, training, access to childcare, etc.) did better than those that focussed on employment alone.

Mom’s and Children

Mother’s Day Giving: In case you missed it, we’ve got some ideas on how to make a high impact gift in honor of mom.

  • Catch up on Friday’s Mother’s Day tweetchat, hosted by JHPIEGO, by following the #itstartswithmoms twitter hashtag.

Most Deaths In Children Under 5 From Preventable Infectious Causes, Study Suggests: New study reveals that almost two-thirds of deaths in young children around the world are from infectious causes (pneumonia, diarrhea, malaria, measles). Pneumonia is the leading cause of death. 40% of the 7.6 million deaths occur in the first 28 days of life. The vast majority of these deaths could be prevented with existing tools. The study highlights the high need areas for donors to target.

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