2019 Sonbahar Dönemi Dördüncü Paylaşım Toplantısı
Summer Preschools is a 10-week accelerated early education intervention program designed for 5-to-6-year-old children from Syria and Turkey implemented across 10 provinces of Southeastern Anatolia region through the partnership of NGOs including Mother-Child Education Foundation, UNICEF, Southeastern Anatolia Project Regional Development Administration, and Turkish Development Foundation. The program aims to support children acquire essential skills in major development domains and increase school readiness. This presentation focuses on the impact evaluation research conducted to identify developmental effects of the program on children. Across 140 classrooms, 2620 children participated the program. Research was conducted with 711 children using pre-test post-test quasi-experimental design. Intervention group consisted of 358 children from Summer Preschools. Control group consisted of 353 non-participant children from the same local communities. Children's development in six sub-domains of cognitive, language and socio-emotional development was examined with various research instruments. Children who participated in Summer Schools showed higher progress compared to control group in all domains measured including receptive/expressive language skills, pre-literacy/pre-numeracy skills, emotion regulation and social competence. Thus, the intervention enhanced development of cognitive, language, and socio-emotional skills beyond the level if children had not attended Summer Preschools. Findings highlight the urgent need for policy-makers to develop contextually sensitive preschool interventions tailored to needs of at-risk children to support school readiness and psychosocial well-being. Summer Preschools project made a substantial positive difference in the lives of Syrian and local Turkish children as an NGO-led early education intervention initiative and provides an exemplary model to be replicated in order to enhance resilience of vulnerable children subject to social adversities.