EA Awarded $7.8M Department of Education Grant to Promote Student Literacy

Education Analytics (EA) is proud to announce it has been awarded a $7.8 million Education Innovation and Research (EIR) grant, from the Department of Education, to expand the SPARK Early Literacy Program, a research-based Kindergarten through second grade early reading intervention developed by Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee (BGCGM). Through its newly-created SPARK Center, EA will implement the SPARK Early Literacy Program in up to 15 high-need schools in partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs in both urban and rural locations in Wisconsin, Alabama, and South Carolina.

The SPARK Early Literacy Program is a cost-effective, early reading intervention that improves student reading achievement through research-based literacy programming that integrates one-on-one tutoring, family engagement, and after-school programming into its design. First launched by BGCGM in 2006, multiple research studies have proven SPARK’s effectiveness, and the Center for Research and Reform in Education (CRRE) has described the program as one of a small number of literacy interventions that both work and meet the “strong evidence definitions” laid out in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

“We are grateful for the opportunity to bring the SPARK Early Literacy Program to more children,” said Pat Marcus, Director of Implementation at Education Analytics. “Over the past 11 years, we have seen the tremendous impact this program has had on students’ reading achievement and school attendance. The program also fosters opportunities for day school staff and Boys & Girls Clubs staff to collaborate in the best interest of students.”

Throughut the 39-month project, researchers will use a randomized control study to evaluate the program’s impact, replicability, and sustainability across these new and diverse locales. By the end of the grant, EA’s Spark Center will be self-sustained with the capacity to scale the program beyond participating sites and meet the substantial, unmet demand for a proven effective, holistic, cost-effective literacy program.

About the Education Innovation and Research Program at the Department of Education

The Education Innovation and Research (EIR) Program, established under section 4611 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as amended by Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), provides funding to create, develop, implement, replicate, or take to scale entrepreneurial, evidence-based, field-initiated innovations to improve student achievement and attainment for high-need students; and rigorously evaluate such innovations. The EIR program is designed to generate and validate solutions to persistent educational challenges and to support the expansion of effective solutions to serve substantially larger numbers of students.

Stay posted for more information about the SPARK Center!

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