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Education - Strengthening Early Childhood Education

Strengthening Early Childhood Education


“Pre-kindergarten education for disadvantaged children can greatly increase their cognitive abilities, leading to long-term increases in achievement and school success.”
— School Reform Proposals: The Research Evidence


2% of foundation giving for education in the U.S. targeted early childhood education in 2007


How do we ensure all children receive access to quality pre-school education at this key developmental stage?


Maximize access to and effectiveness of programs that give young children the best possible start

Case Study

The Opportunity Project (TOP)
  • Operates two learning centers for low-income children in Wichita, Kansas
  • Runs the “I Can Problem Solve” program
  • Knight Foundation has invested $1.7 million since 2003


On average, TOP students:
  • significantly outperform their peers across most subjects
  • more often read at grade level
  • show improved behavior after just one year

Research Sources

Reform Proposals: The Research Evidence
Alex Molnar

The Opportunity Project (TOP)

John S. and James L. Knight Foundationn

Grants to The Opportunity Project Learning Center

Starting Out Right: A Cluster Evaluation of the Early Childhood Grants of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Wichita Community

Grantmakers for Education

Benchmarking 2008: Trends in Education Philanthropy, Grantmakers for Education

Effective Education Grantmaking Resources: Case Studies, Grantmakers for Education
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