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New studies reveal success of On My Way Pre-K in Indiana

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Posted at 4:45 PM, Feb 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-10 18:55:24-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Two new studies are looking at the success of On My Way Pre-K.

The state funded grant program launched in 2015 and provides low income families the opportunity to enroll in high-quality Pre-K programs. More than 15,000 children have gone through the program.

Giving Tree Early Learning in Indianapolis has offered the program for the last three years.

"We are supporting these children as they continue to grow and traditionally in lower income families, we see those gaps in education. The opportunities aren't as plentiful, they might have a limited skillset because maybe it's a single family home and the parent is having to work 24 hours a day around the clock - they hold three jobs. So, these children aren't getting the same interactions as their peer group," Ashley Flaumenhaft, director of Giving Tree Early Learning, said. "That's why this is so important. Children need to have access to high quality education and that's what On My Way Pre-K does for us."

Purdue University's study followed nearly 400 kids who went through On My Way Pre-K over multiple years and found they performed better than their peers on "general school readiness skills."

A second study from the University of Chicago compared kindergarten readiness indicators for children in the program to their peers.

Research showed “On My Way Pre-K children scored at or above national target levels on 29% of the language and literacy skills and 40% of the math skills.”

MORE: On My Way Pre-K study results

Aviva is a graduate of Giving Tree. Her mom, Mallory Levin, says her daughter is able to receive extra help and there are more teachers at her pre-k.

"I wouldn't be able to afford anything like this without On My Way Pre-K," Levin said.

A spokesperson for the Indiana Family and Social Service Administration tells WRTV the program is funded through next school year.

"We have this mission here at our school that we believe children have a right to education, so we look at any way we can to help support children having access," Flaumenhaft said.

Applications open in March for families. The program is for four-year-olds who are planning to start kindergarten the following year.