Colorado’s Achievement Plan for Kids (CAP4K), enacted in 2008, requires school districts to assess and report on kindergarten readiness in six primary domains. These domains include:
- Physical well-being and motor development
- Language and comprehension development
- Social and emotional development
Unfortunately, the most recent CAP4K report indicates that many at-risk students are not adequately prepared to succeed in school. Of Colorado kindergarten students eligible for free or reduced lunch, 39% did not meet readiness standards in three or more domains versus 25% for more affluent and middle class kindergarten students.
While this data is disappointing, it is consistent with other states. Of the 4.3 million children across the United States starting kindergarten each year, only 50% make a smooth transition and nearly 20% experience serious difficulties. And children from vulnerable, underserved social niches are particularly likely to be less ready for school. In addition, we know that not being prepared in kindergarten can have long term, negative impacts for students.
According to a 20 year research study funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation:
“Kindergarten students who are more inclined to exhibit “social competence” traits—such sharing, cooperating, or helping other kids—may be more likely to attain higher education and well-paying jobs. In contrast, students who exhibit weaker social competency skills may be more likely to drop out of high school, abuse drugs and alcohol, and need government assistance.”
So what can we do to provide a more equitable opportunity for all students to succeed in the classroom and in life?
Improving Social and Emotional Skills
In conjunction with our acceptance into the Futurebound Colorado Acceleration Lab, Centervention is providing free access to our new social and emotional learning program, Zoo Academy, to 1000 Colorado educators and 10,000 students during the 2019/2020 school year.
This game-based program, funded by an SBIR award from the National Science Foundation and supported by a grant by NewSchool Ventures, helps students practice and improve social and emotional skills in six key areas: communication, cooperation, emotion regulation, empathy, impulse control, and social initiation. As a result, students are better prepared for the challenges of the classroom and in life.
“Futurebound is aimed at connecting stakeholders across the space of child development to create solutions that impact all young children,” said Dr. Sarabeth Berk, Director of Futurebound. “We had a very competitive applicant pool for our first Acceleration Lab, and Centervention really stood out. The way they’re gamifying social and emotional development is truly a next level approach. We’re compelled by what they’re doing and believe their work has great potential for children in Colorado and beyond.”
“We would like to thank Gary Community Investments, Futurebound and Uncharted for inviting us to participate in the Futurebound Acceleration Lab,” said Centervention CEO, Tim Huntley. “We are grateful for the opportunity, and we look forward to creating a positive, lasting impact on thousands of young students in communities across Colorado.”
Educators: To learn more and request free access to Zoo Academy, please go to our Zoo Academy Social and Emotional Learning page.
Centervention® is the leading provider of online programs that help students in grades K-8 practice and improve social and emotional skills. These programs are engaging for students, automatically gather data so educators can understand strengths and weaknesses, and include supplemental lessons to reinforce learning. With Centervention, educators meet students where they are, address their unique needs, and do so in an engaging, effective way. To learn more, visit Centervention.com and follow us on Twitter at @Centervention.