State Farm Neighborhood Assist ® 2018

Southeastern Oklahoma Improving Childhood Education Initiative

To improve math, science and literacy fundamental skills in children through the use of technology.

Located in southeastern Oklahoma, McCurtain County has been plagued with high poverty and unemployment rates, exacerbated by low educational attainment levels. Over the last few years, the county has shown a rapid decline in state testing scores regarding proficiency in the areas of Math and English/Language Arts. McCurtain County is also classified as "high risk," which means there are large numbers of children in the region with multiple risk factors that hinder cognitive, social and mental development. Thus, positive change is needed to help counteract developmental risk factors and declining educational achievement in the area. As such, the proposed project would utilize child-directed, self-paced technology to address math, science, and literacy learning objectives for children enrolled in early childhood and school-aged classrooms in Broken Bow, Oklahoma a major population center in McCurtain County.

Funding would be used to purchase developmentally-appropriate technology solutions (computer workstations, interactive whiteboard, curriculum, manipulatives, etc.) to improve educational achievement levels of children enrolled at Broken Bow Early Learning Center. Little Dixie CAA has operated the Early Learning Center in Broken Bow since 1986, and currently serves 92 children in five center locations across three counties. In contrast to the other centers, Broken Bow Early Learning Center is unique in that it serves children ages 0 to 12. By targeting this center, the project will work to enhance foundational skills in a greater population of children for an extended period of time. Enrolled children will use a computer-based system for learning math, science, and literacy concepts each day. Learning will take place before, during, and after school, as well as in the summer months. The technology can be extended into the home environment to keep content current and avoid reversion.

The project will have a significant, long-lasting impact, not only on the children served, but the community as a whole. The Broken Bow Early Learning Center will strengthen and improve the educational environment by incorporating innovative approaches to learning. The resources and technology implemented will be utilized not only during the project year, but for many years to come. Through the provision of high-quality, research-based programming that begins early, the project will improve the odds of positive outcomes for young children, especially the most vulnerable. At least 68 children (ages 0-12) will be served each year through the provision of technology-driven child development/education services. Families will increase involvement in their child's education at an early age, and children served will see improvements in math, science, and literacy skills comprehension. Overall, the project will assist children in strengthening their foundation for school readiness and success.