School Readiness

School Readiness means that students enter kindergarten on a level playing field and are ready to learn.

Why does it matter?

  • Only 6% of Alabama’s 4-year-olds are enrolled in the state-funded Pre-K program, First Class. Only 16% are enrolled in Head Start.
  • Evaluations of well-run prekindergarten programs have found that children exposed to high-quality early education were less likely to drop out of school, repeat grades, or need special education, compared with similar children who did not have such exposure.” -Education Week
  • Roughly 35% of children in the United States enter school without the skills necessary for learning to read. -Carnegie Foundation
  • By one estimate the typical middle-class child enters first grade with 1,000 to 1,700 hours of one-on-one picture book reading, whereas a child from a low-income family averages just 25 hours. -Marylin Jagger Adams, “Beginning to Read: Thinking and Learning About Print”

What A+ is doing to help:

  • Through its partnership with the Alabama School Readiness Alliance (ASRA), A+ promotes the further development and expansion of voluntary, high quality pre-k programs.
  • ASRA supports First Class, Alabama’s voluntary pre-k program, which earned a perfect rating from the National Institute for Early Education Research in 2010.
  • ASRA works with communities to promote the adoption of First Class standards for existing pre-k programs.