TPL is supporting Alief ISD in taking bold action to develop and evaluate family and community engagement approaches, serving children as young as 18 months of age. Our collaboration has resulted in two randomized controlled trials. The first was focused on AISD’s own JumpStart parenting program, tracking the program’s impact among approximately 900 three-year-olds. We are now conducting a randomized controlled trial of LENA Start—a language development curriculum that incorporates a “talk pedometer”- to determine its causal impact on toddler language development and academic performance in a public-school setting. This evaluation includes a rigorous study of fidelity of implementation to inform successful adaptation and scaling of this program in a public-school district.
This partnership is transforming a public funding stream by identifying programs that work and supporting the smart scaling and expansion of early childhood development approaches. Decisions affecting funding, the district’s service population, curriculum, and future research have all been made as a result of this partnership. The district is now supporting early childhood family engagement programs with federal funding, freeing up individual campus budgets while demonstrating to families the value of their participation.