The purpose of Even Start is to help break the intergenerational cycle of poverty and illiteracy by improving education opportunities for low-income families with limited education. To accomplish this goal, Even Start programs provide an integrated four-component model of family literacy, including early childhood education (for children from birth through age seven), adult literacy or basic education, parenting education and support, and interactive literacy activities between parents and their children.
Even Start is funded through the U.S. Department of Education under the No Child Left Behind Act, Title 1, Part B, Subpart 3. Title I is the largest federally funded program designed to provide educational services for preschool, elementary, and secondary students.
In Colorado, Title I dollars in support of early childhood education are most often used to supplement the services of the Colorado Preschool Program or Head Start. There are no instances in the state of these monies supporting an entire preschool classroom of children, whose costs are funded solely with Title I dollars. Instead, funds are used to pay for teachers, field trips, materials, supplies, and other resources that facilitate early childhood learning goals in collaborative preschool classrooms, which are supported with a variety of braided funding sources.
Early childhood programs in Colorado use Title I funds to expand the number of families served through Even Start. Some school districts also use a portion of their Title I allocations, dedicated for professional development, to train highly qualified paraprofessionals for the Colorado Preschool and Kindergarten Program. Other districts use Title I monies to pay the salaries of home-visitation professionals, parent educators, and infant/toddler staff members in adult education and family literacy programs.
Contact: Kathryn Smukler, State Even Start Coordinator 303/866-6842. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org