Indspire supports communities to improve educational outcomes through the documentation and evaluation of their innovative practices. This community-led process is supported by an Indspire-funded Indigenous scholar, who works with programs on the ground to provide training on data collection and evaluation methodology.
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Little Red Spirit, Aboriginal Head Start Program
Little Red Spirit, Aboriginal Head Start is a community-based early childhood education program for Indigenous children between the ages of 3 and 6. Programming is based on six key components: culture and language, education, health promotion, nutrition, social support, and parental involvement. In addition to interviews with parents, teachers and program staff, the evaluation methodology includes an experimental design that assesses the academic outcomes (math, reading, writing, and school attendance) of former Little Red Spirit students currently attending Grades 1-6 at Dufferin School in Winnipeg. The findings of this evaluation reveal that former Little Red Spirit students exhibited higher attendance levels and more favourable teacher-rated math, reading, and writing assessments compared to a grade-matched group of peers who had not attended the program. Furthermore, current Little Red Spirit participants also demonstrated a high degree of positive change with regard to their academic and social development skills since joining the program.
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