Georgia Preschoolers Play Their Way to Kindergarten Readiness

Kylie Rymanowicz, MR, CFLE

Dec. 7, 2022

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What a difference a summer makes! For the second summer in a row, pre-K students in Georgia utilized Ignite by Hatch™ to jump-start their learning and ignite school readiness. Ignite is a developmentally appropriate and research-backed digital learning tool for early learners. Ignite was developed with a research-based design and is continuously updated to improve educational outcomes for children. Ignite can provide opportunities for children to practice and demonstrate an understanding of increasingly rigorous, standards-aligned skills across seven domains of learning: Mathematics, Literacy, Language & Communication Development, Social and Emotional Learning, Science & Technology, Physical Development, and Social Studies. With just 30 minutes of independent play per week, children can make meaningful progress toward individual learning goals!

Ignite digital experiences are based on a scale from 1 to 8, building in rigor as children progress through each level. Levels 1–3 in Ignite are aligned to the pre-foundational skills children are expected to learn in preschool. Level 4 skills are aligned with kindergarten readiness, and Levels 5–8 move into elementary skills. Research findings show that Ignite levels progress in difficulty as intended, and children continue growing, developing, and learning at all skill levels. Ignite data, which is analyzed by a third-party researcher, shows that preschool children engaging with Ignite for 30 minutes per week, on average, can reach kindergarten readiness (Level 4) by the end of their program year (when implemented with fidelity).

How did Georgia preschool children make such great progress this summer? They played! Throughout Georgia, 2,946 children from 223 schools in the state utilized Ignite during their 6-week summer learning program. Children in these public and private summer transition programs were encouraged to play for a minimum of 30 minutes per week—for a total of 180 minutes over 6 weeks—and to play with fidelity. Forty percent of schools, on average, utilized Ignite for 75% or more of the recommended 180 minutes. Children engaged with Ignite for an average of 132 minutes throughout the 6-week implementation period.

In 6 short weeks, Georgia children showed two levels of growth across all seven domains of learning. The majority of children (82%) reached an average of Level 2 or higher in all the developmental domains in Ignite. Children showed the most growth in Mathematics, Literacy, and Language & Communication Development. In Mathematics, 81% of children reached a Level 2 or higher, 65% reached Level 2 or higher in Literacy, and 62% reached Level 2 or higher in Language & Communication Development. With increased playtime through the summer program, or with expanded year-round use, we would expect additional growth for children across all learning domains.

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