When KIPP DC began its first PreK program at KIPP DC LEAP Academy in 2007, it was based on the belief that starting children early with KIPP would lead to stronger outcomes over time. Now, thanks to a new report released by Mathematica (the “gold standard” in research firms), we have unequivocal evidence this hunch was right.
On August 22, Mathematica released a study that explored the impact of KIPP’s PreK programs using data from KIPP DC LEAP Academy and two PreK programs in Houston. The study concluded that KIPP PreK combined with KIPP early elementary schools lead to significant positive impacts on students’ reading and math achievement. The study also found that the gains made by students who attend KIPP PreK programs persist into second grade, especially in reading.
We are grateful that the researchers highlighted the elements of KIPP’s PreK programs that may lead to these strong results, particularly KIPP’s highly qualified teachers, commitment to building relationships with students and families, and focus on helping students gain academic skills through play.
Since our first PreK opened at KIPP DC LEAP Academy ten years ago, we’ve been fortunate to add four more PreK schools to the KIPP DC family, at Arts & Technology, Discover, Grow, and Connect Academies.
As our youngest KIPPsters go off to school for the first time this year, it’s easy to focus on how adorable they are, but the Mathematica study reminds us that they not just playing and having fun, they’re also getting on track for excellence throughout their academic careers. Thank you to all KIPP DC PreK and early childhood teachers and leaders!
You can read the full Mathematica report here.