Research

Study after study shows our evidenced-based framework outperforms all others. In randomized controlled trials and quasi-experimental studies, children participating in our framework acquired gains of up to 8 months of additional learning, including ELL, children in poverty and African American boys.

“This innovative teacher coaching model supports children’s social-emotional development and significantly contributes to closing the opportunity and school readiness gaps at kindergarten entry.”

Kenneth Rainin Foundation April 2021
For nearly 30 years, we have developed and refined early childhood development practices and tools with community leaders, teachers and parents. We use our instructional approach, called the SEEDS of Early Learning in training and coaching adults (teachers, caregivers, parents, tutors) in how to build high-quality relationships and interactions with children, preschool to grade 3. 

Our model is an evidence-based Multiple Tiers of Support (MTSS) professional development program that prepares early childhood educators to promote kindergarten readiness through development of children’s oral language, emergent-literacy and social-emotional skills.

SEEDS has been proven, time and again, to help develop literacy in all children, but specifically closes the opportunity gap for children from disadvantaged communities. The results are phenomenal.

2017 – 2021University of Chicago NORC study of Kidango Preschools

Sponsored by Kenneth Rainin Foundation

SEEDS’ model “increases early reading proficiency among students in Bay Area schools, a game-changer for countering systemic discrepancies and racial inequities after a year of remote learning.” Kenneth Rainin Foundation April 2021

Researchers at the University of Chicago at NORC conducted a statistically significant study with a diverse range of 1,200 students in Kidango preschools, the largest spread across the East San Francisco Bay area. The evaluation assessed the impact of the SEEDS model on early educators’ knowledge and practice over time, and their 4- and 5-year-old students’ oral language and early reading outcomes. 

Our model was validated in a rigorous randomized control trial (RCT) study, the gold standard for determining the causal impact of a program on desired outcomes, on a large scale across 26 Kidango preschools. A single year of SEEDS training was shown to produce statistically significant, positive improvement in student early reading skills. Given that typical early childhood students learn about 1.5 standard deviations a year in reading (Hill et al., 2008), the SEEDS’ effect sizes represent impacts of a magnitude similar to between 2 and 8 months of learning.

The research found that:

  • A single year of SEEDS training for teachers was shown to produce statistically significant, positive changes in teacher knowledge and student early reading skills.
  • When the SEEDS schools were compared to similar, randomly assigned control schools, the SEEDS schools had significantly higher early literacy student scores.
  • When SEEDS was introduced to the comparison schools in the second year of the study, they saw significantly increased early literacy student scores (about three-quarters standard deviation impact).

“Kidango’s experience with SEEDS demonstrates how it is possible, through a relentless commitment to improving child outcomes, to accomplish meaningful change in a large early learning system, and deliver high-quality opportunities for all children.” Kidango

2014 - 2018SEEDS Implementation in Oakland, CA

Oakland Unified School District Benchmark Aggregate Data Report

The 2014 report set benchmarks for PreK and TK 4-year-olds inside and outside the Oakland Unified School District in a total of 42 classrooms. Students were assessed in their dominant languages. 

 All 4 Year Olds Tested in English: % at Each Target Level

 

 

All 4 Year Olds Tested in Spanish: % at Each Target Level

See more data here:  
2014-2015 Oakland Data 

 

The 2017-2018 study showed that 61% of the transitional kindergarteners who participated ended the school year in spring with mastery in all five skills.

 

See more data here:  
2017-2018 Oakland

2015 - 2017First 5 Santa Clara County

Data Snapshot, Dual Language Learners

Spanish speaking infants and toddlers developed language foundations at the same rate as English speaking children. 

SEEDS was first piloted in 2012. SEEDS trained childcare providers were assessed by their coaches in Fall and Spring to determine gains in the quality of the learning environment and students were assessed to measure gains in early literacy. The majority of the children in FY 16-17 were Latinx and about a third used Spanish as their primary language.

The report provides a snapshot of findings for children whose primary language was Spanish, as compared to English speakers. Spanish speaking children in Family Childcare Home settings as well as in their homes experienced positive changes related to early literacy,  including:

  • increased ability to express themselves – Spanish speaking children were slightly more likely than English speaking children to be Above Target
  • increased vocabulary was twice as large for Spanish speaking children
  • parents who attended the SEEDS workshops agreed and strongly agreed they had the tools to support home literacy

 

See more data here:  

First 5 Santa Clara County Data Snapshot 

2012 - 2013Minnesota Reading Corps PreK Program

2015 National and Community Service Outcome Evaluation and 2013 Progress Report

SEEDS is a Response to Intervention (RTI) model that has been an integral part of the Minnesota Reading Corps since 2012 with the overarching goal of promoting reading proficiency so that children are successful readers by third grade. Our SEEDS of Emergent Literacy approach serves as the pedagogical framework within which members and teachers create a literacy-rich classroom environment in the program.

The Minnesota Reading Corps PreK Program is AmeriCorps’ largest state program in the nation serving preschool (PreK) students and at-risk Kindergarten through third grade (K-3) elementary school students. 

Each summer, the Minnesota Reading Corps hosts a multi-day Summer Institute for training new and returning Master Coaches, Internal Coaches and AmeriCorps members in our literacy interventions and teaching techniques for PreK students. 

Participants’ perception of program impact: 

At all schools, principals reported positive reactions to the program. Teachers at six schools reported positive feedback about the program. They observed that their students made significant gains in ability, literacy skills, reading fluency, and comprehension. They noted also that students had grown or exhibited greater confidence, including a “love of reading” that was not there before. At one school, the teachers were initially hesitant about the tutoring intervention but began “asking to get their students into the program” as they saw its benefits. 

Receiving concrete scores and feedback on student proficiency through regular progress monitoring and benchmarking was noted as factors in teachers’ positive response to the program, along with the daily intervention. 

One Internal Coach noted, “The members reinforce what the teachers try and do with the students, but the sessions are one-on-one so the time with the members is even better.”

One Principal said, “The interventions are scientifically based and progress monitored. Everything is data-based and scripted, so the interventions are delivered the same regardless of the personnel.”

An AmeriCorps member shared, “seeing student success leads to it” – seeing students’ progress through data motivates teachers to continue diligently adhering to the literacy rich schedule and interventions.

SEEDS tutors indicated that “children think they are playing games” when they are being pulled out of the classroom for Tier 2 and 3 level interventions and are excited and eager for their time with the AmeriCorps member while staff at two other sites stated that students are generally unaware that they are receiving interventions/specialized literacy services.

PreK students in the Minnesota Reading Corps program achieved significantly higher emergent literacy assessment scores by the end of the school year

To evaluate the program, researchers from NORC at the University of Chicago and TIES in Minnesota conducted a randomized controlled trial of more than 1,500 students in 23 urban, suburban and rural Minnesota schools during the 2012-2013 school year. The study validated our model’s positive effect on young readers, showing that 3-year old students enrolled in Minnesota Reading Corps PreK classrooms make meaningful growth in key emergent literacy outcomes associated with later reading comprehension. 

Findings from the analysis of IGDI assessment data collected in Fall, Winter and Spring from PreK students, include:

  • PreK students in the program achieved significantly higher emergent literacy assessment scores by the end of the school year than did students enrolled in matched-comparison sites.
  • After just one semester of tutoring, kindergarten students performed twice as well as students without a tutor.  
  • The program was equally effective for PreK students regardless of gender, race/ethnicity or Dual Language Learner (DLL) status. 
  • Neither the school itself nor the educational background of the tutor had a significant effect on the results, meaning our model could be successfully replicated in multiple settings using tutors with little or no experience in education.

See the Data

2008 National Early Literacy Panel

Developing Early Literacy Report 

The panel issued a scientific synthesis of early literacy development and implications for intervention to address The “National Assessment of Educational Progress finding that 37 percent of U.S. fourth graders fail to achieve basic levels of reading achievement. The incidence of reading failure is even higher within low-income families, ethnic minority groups, and English-language learners. Large-scale studies have shown that young children—those entering kindergarten and first grade—vary greatly in their attainment of the early precursor skills that provide the launching pad for later literacy learning (West, Denton, & Germino-Hausken, 2000; West, Denton, & Reaney, 2000).” 

Importantly, the study set out to:

  • Establish which early skills or abilities could properly be said to be the precursors of later literacy achievement. Without such a determination, it would be impossible to ascertain what programs or practices were most effective, because, even in the best of circumstances, most young children develop few conventional literacy skills before starting school. 
  • Identify the essential early skills or abilities relevant to later literacy development, the panel searched for published scientific studies that could provide correlational evidence showing the relationship between early skill attainment and later literacy growth in decoding, reading comprehension, or spelling. 

See the report here

 

 

Learned predictors of later oral language, comprehension, reading and writing outcomes.

Report showed that we learned:

  • The skills and abilities of young children that predict later oral language, comprehension, reading and writing outcomes. 
  • The kinds of programs, interventions and instructional approaches or procedures that contribute or inhibit gains in children’s skills and abilities.
  • What environments and settings contribute to or inhibit gains for children. 
  • Conventional reading and writing skills are developed in the years from birth to kindergarten and have a clear and consistently strong or medium predictive relationship with later reading abilities.  
    • Oral Language and Vocabulary: (building through listening, speaking, reading, storytelling and more)
  • Alphabet Knowledge
  • Phonological Awareness (playing with words and their beginning and ending sounds)
  • Rapid Automatic Naming of words, colors, shapes, letters and names (games of fun once children know items)
  • Name Writing (moving from “that’s my letter” to proud of writing their name)
  • Phonological memory (singing family familiar songs and rhymes)
  • Visual Processing (to match or discriminate items like blocks, colors, shapes and more)

Concepts of Print (learning how print works through classroom fun and meaningful activities)

2003 - 2004University of Minnesota

Lead the Minnesota Early Literacy Training Project, Center for Early Education and Development 

SEEDS of Learning was evaluated and found to Classroom and Child Outcomes

  • Significant improvements in the Early Literacy and Language Observation (ELLCO) scores resulted from coaching compared to centers that only received training. Coaching centers experienced a 38% increase in Literacy Activities Rating Scale scores (compared to 16% increase for training-only centers) and a 57% increase in Literacy Environment Checklist scores (compared to 6% for training-only centers).
  • Children from the study entered Minneapolis schools ready for Kindergarten at a rate 1½ times higher than the typical Minneapolis child in 2003 (based on Alliteration and Rhyming beginning Kindergarten performance) and more than 2 times higher in 2004 (based on spring 2004 performance of study children and typical district fall 2004 performance).

Addressing Pandemic-Related Learning Gaps, New Research Shows Benefits of Innovative Teacher Coaching for Young Learners

Kenneth Rainin Foundation April 2021

2017-2021 Overview

University of Chicago NORC study of Kidango Preschools

Year 1
Baselines were set for a randomized controlled trial (RCT), the gold standard in social science

Year 2
Outcomes were compared to baselines from year 1

Year 3
Was postponed due to COVID

CARES model, SEEDS, had statistically significant effects in 4 out of 5 areas assessed with p-values at less than 5%. The cumulative benefit (weighted by margin of error) vs. the control group is equivalent to almost six months of learning, and it is important to highlight that this result was accomplished in just nine months (the period between fall and spring assessment).

Bigger effects in year 2 due to organizational learning and continued investment.

SEEDS group had significantly higher outcomes.

Compared to a range of well-known national studies we rank among the most impactful programs in the country.

See the Studies

Download

NORC Study

Download Study

Kenneth Rainin Study

Download Study

Kidango Research Brief

Download Study