Studies show that educational achievement gaps already exist at Kindergarten entry.  Children from low-income families are more likely to start school with limited language skills, health problems and social and emotional problems that interfere with learning.  The larger the gap at school entry, the harder it is to close.

Language proficiency is a key predictor of school success. Early literacy skills (size of vocabulary, recognizing letters, understanding letter and sound relationships) at kindergarten entry are good predictors of children's reading abilities throughout their educational careers. Language and literacy skills enable children to develop cognitive skills and knowledge and to interact effectively with peers and adults.



Communication strategies are essential to leveraging policy change. Indicator data is only as useful as its communication power. According to Phil Sparks of the Communications Consortium Media Center and presenter at our First National Meeting, the essential elements of a media strategy are:
- clear messages
- defined target audience
- timelines
- resources
- action steps
- feedback and evaluation

Some effective communications "tools of the trade" are:
- one-on-one relationships
- press briefings
- press conferences
- press kits and written materials
- editorial/op-ed pieces
- radio and TV news feeds
- paid advertising
- public service announcements


© 2005, School Readiness Indicators Initiative
One Union Station Providence, RI 02903 401.351.9400 fax 401.351.1758
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The School Readiness Indicators Initiative is supported by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and the Ford Foundation.
The 17-state initiative is managed by Rhode Island KIDS COUNT