South Mississippi PreK4Ward Initiative

Your Subtitle text

PreK4Ward Research

Head Start offered programming to only 37.1% of the four year olds in MS in 2009-2010, and those served had to meet family  income guidelines.

In MS, 23% of our families are raising children with an income of less than $25,000 a year.

Research shows that a child from a household with the least income can be as many as 1.5 years behind grade level in terms of language, pre-reading and pre-math skills.  A child with the highest family income may be as many as 1.5 years ahead. By the time two 5-year-olds start school, the achievement gap between them may already be as great as three years.

At kindergarten, the average cognitive score of children in the highest socio-economic status (SES) group is 60% above that of children in the lowest SES group.  By 4th grade, only 17% of our poorest children score at or above proficient in reading on the National Assessment of Educational Progress and only 22% score at or above proficient in math.

In the U.S.,  74% of the children in 3rd grade unable to read on grade level will never  read on grade level!  Within that 74% fall 80% of the children living in low income families!

                So why should we feel concerned about those facts?

In MS, taxpayers spent nearly $40 million dollars a year paying the retention costs of students held back in Kindergarten and First Grade! We are paying hugely for students not being educated early!

By the age of 3, 90% of a child’s brain development has already occurred.

The I.Q. of a child can be increased by as much as 25% when stimulation is provided to them prior to the age of five. 

In 2010, the illiteracy rate for Mississippi adults was 27%...the highest in our nation. It impacts our workforce and affects our ability to lure new industries into our economy.

Mississippi spends $3 million on early childhood staff but none goes to child services. Nearby states spend much more in direct services: Arkansas spends $114 million while Georgia spends $355 million; Louisiana commits $117 million of their budget to early childhood. 

For every $1 spent on our students under 18 in Mississippi, we spend $5 on our prisoners!

MS households would have over $1 billion more in accumulated wealth if all heads of households had graduated from high school.

Preschool reduces the number of teen parents, lessens academic failures in upper grades, and increases employability, college graduates, and those paying into the tax system!  Children attending preschool make higher wages, have fewer incarcerations, and raise healthier, happy children of their own.
















Website Builder