Program Purpose: Even Start offers promise for helping break the intergenerational cycle of poverty and low literacy in the Nation by combining early childhood education, adult literacy (adult basic and secondary-level education and/or instruction for English language learners), parenting education, and interactive parent and child literacy activities into a unified family literacy program. Even Start supports integrated family literacy services for parents and children, birth through age seven and has three interrelated goals: to help parents improve their literacy or basic educational skills; to help parents become full partners in educating their children; and to assist children in reaching their full potential as learners (especially in reading).
Program Statute: Public Law 107 - 110 § 1231 - 1242
Eligible Recipients: Districts are eligible if they serve low-income famililes with an adult who is eligible to participate in an education program under the Adult Education Act and who is a parent or guardian (including teen parents) of a child eight years old or younger. The district must be able to integrate all four components of the Even Start program to be considered for a subgrant. The four components are adult education, parenting education, early childhood education, and parent and child literacy activities.
Performance Measures: Federal law requires each state to create its own Indicators of Program Quality based on the guidelines set forth in NCLB. These Indicators are used to monitor, evaluate, and improve each Even Start program in the state.
Documented Evidence of Results: There are six Even Start programs in Oklahoma. Each program is required to contract with a local outside evaluator. The evaluator prepares a report that is submitted to the State Department of Education in September for the previous school year.