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NEWS RELEASES 2008-09

NEWS RELEASES 2008-09 :: FEBRUARY 2, 2009

MORE AT FOUR CONTINUES TO BOOST STUDENTS' SKILLS

North Carolina's nationally-recognized More at Four program continues to successfully prepare at-risk 4-year-olds to enter school by helping them improve language and literacy, math, general knowledge and social skills. The latest success of the statewide pre-kindergarten program is outlined in a new report based on research conducted and compiled annually by the FPG Child Development Institute at UNC-Chapel Hill.

"In the past seven years, More at Four has become a national model for state-funded pre-kindergarten efforts," said John Pruette, executive director, N.C. Office of School Readiness. "This latest report offers solid proof that More at Four is a critical part of the Department of Public Instruction's efforts to prepare every student for school success."

The new report concludes that More at Four continues to produce significant growth among at-risk and unserved children across all domains: language and literacy skills (receptive language, letter-word knowledge, print knowledge, phonological awareness), math skills (applied problems, counting), general knowledge (social awareness), and behavioral skills (social skills). The report also found that More at Four produces even greater benefits among children with lower levels of English proficiency. More than 32,000 children in the state would not have the benefit of an academic pre-kindergarten experience without the program.

Since the program began in 2001, the FPG Child Development Institute has conducted an independent statewide evaluation of More at Four to examine program quality and child outcomes. The executive summary and complete report are available at www.fpg.unc.edu/~mafeval.

For the past three years, the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) has also ranked More at Four as one of top two pre-kindergarten programs in the nation. NIEER ranks states' preschool programs annually on early learning standards, teacher degrees, teacher specialized training, assistant teacher degrees, continuing professional development requirements, maximum class size, staff-child ratios, screening, referral and support services, meals and monitoring procedures.

More at Four programs operate in all 100 counties through public school districts, child care centers and Head Start agencies. More at Four funding is administered through the Office of School Readiness in the N.C. Department of Public Instruction. For more information about More at Four, visit www.osr.nc.gov or contact the NCDPI's Communications division at 919.807.3450.

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 107 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.


For more information:
NCDPI Communications and Information, 919.807.3450.