The Getting Ready for School (GRS) program facilitates the successful transition of young children into primary school by providing them with school readiness skills (both academic and social), engaging families and others in the community as capable partners in children’s development, and improving the ability of schools to successfully engage their youngest learners.
The program is not meant to replace comprehensive early childhood development (ECD) programs, such as kindergartens or pre-schools. Instead, GRS provides a low-cost alternative for supporting young children’s school readiness in communities where formal ECD programs are unavailable to most families. A teacher first provides an older child in grade 4-8 (a “Young Facilitator”) with guidance and information on supporting young children preparing for school. Young Facilitators are then matched with children expected to enter formal primary school in one year, and they share their knowlege with the younger children through formal and informal means. Together facilitators and young students work through a series of planned activities designed to support child development through play.
From 2007-2010, the GRS program was piloted in six countries, and rigorous external impact evaluations found significantly increased measures of school readiness for the young learners that participated in the program. Since completion of the pilot programs, Child to Child has implemented the Getting Ready for School Program in other locations, including Sierra Leone and Pakistan.Using older students as tutors and mentors for young learners allows for early childhood education to reach children in remote, difficult-to-reach areas at a low cost.
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CEI approaches in actionStudent supportTutoringTransitional supportIncreasing or sustaining enrollmentExtra-curricular activitiesLearning materials for studentsParental/community engagement in support of studentsCommunity resourcesEarly Childhood Development
Model details2007Not-for-profitComprehensive curriculumLocal language/Mother tongue languageNo longer activeLong-term projectUNICEF
The external impact evaluation found that Getting Ready for School promoted significant and positive outcomes for children, parents, families, teachers and schools:
-A higher number of on-time primary enrolment for both girls and boys.
-In Yemen, children involved in the programme showed significantly higher rates of on time enrolment (83% vs 34%), better social and emotional development, and higher academic performance in literacy than their peers not involved in the programme.
-A high degree of interest, enthusiasm and very high attendance in the programme in all six countries. In Bangladesh for example, the programme also gained a high level of family involvemement. Many families contributed materials and snacks.
-Positive impacts on children’s school readiness in all six countries. In Yemen, these positive effects were sustained throughout the first grade.
-Significant programme impacts on children’s beginning literacy and mathematics in Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia and Yemen20170328_CtCEvaluationReport_Final.pdf