Intervention Can Help Kids Who Are at Risk
By Marci Lewellen on March 24th, 2010

Through the University of North Carolina’s “Abecedarian Project,” Craig Ramey and his colleagues demonstrated that intensive early intervention could greatly enhance the development of children whose mothers have low income and education levels. The children in the project were randomly assigned to receive either an intensive 5-year program of full-day, full-year child care and parent involvement activities beginning in the first few months after the child’s birth, or to receive only free formula and diapers. After just 3 years, dramatic results were evident: the program children had an average IQ score of 105, while the control group children averaged only 85. And unlike many programs which began intervention at age 4, the effects of the program on IQ held over time. The program children were less likely to repeat a grade in school and demonstrated better achievement in reading and mathematics throughout elementary and high school. At age 21, the children who participated in the 5-year program still displayed a significant intellectual advantage over the control children. Clearly this intensive, early intervention had a long-lasting impact on these children’s lives.  (Ramey, Campbell, & Blair, 1998).

excerpt from Starting Smart

March 24th, 2010

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