ERIC Number: ED450504
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Dec-29
Reference Count: N/A
The SPARK Outreach Project: An Early Education Program for Children with Disabilities. Final Report.
The purpose of the SPARK Outreach Project was to address the needs of an increasingly culturally diverse population by providing a model for teachers of young children with disabilities with (1) a story-based creative arts curriculum derived from a variety of cultural and ethnic traditions; (2) a developmentally and individually appropriate curriculum process that can be applied by teachers in a variety of settings to meet the needs of children of diverse skill levels; (3) a system of inservice training and ongoing support to enhance the implementation of the model; and (4) materials to enable families to participate in their child's education. Six states (Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, and North Carolina) replicated the model, which has three major components: the Creative Arts Curriculum, Inservice Training, and Parent Involvement. The curriculum, designed to promote child engagement while embedding Individualized Education Program and developmental goals, focuses around weekly units based on a story that is read daily. It includes 12-15 creative arts center activities (3 per day) that emphasize concepts drawn from the story and also promote emergent literacy skills and awareness of diverse cultures, traditions, and practices. The parent involvement component includes materials for both center-based and home-based programs to enable the family to become involved in their child's education. Teachers (n=439) in 34 programs replicated the model with more than 6,000 children and their families in a variety of settings: public programs (self-contained and inclusive), Head Start programs (both center-based and home-based), and family child care settings that contain children with disabilities. Data indicate the effectiveness of the model in promoting child development and teacher use of best practice teaching strategies. Appendices include curriculum materials and information on resources, data measurements and collection tools. (Contains 32 references.) (LC)
Descriptors: Art Activities, Childrens Literature, Cultural Awareness, Cultural Differences, Curriculum Design, Disabilities, Diversity (Student), Family Involvement, Family Programs, Inclusive Schools, Individualized Education Programs, Inservice Teacher Education, Literacy Education, Music Education, Outreach Programs, Postsecondary Education, Preschool Children, Preschool Education, Skill Development, Teacher Workshops, Teaching Models
University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign, 61 Children's Research Center, 51 Gerty Dr., Champaign, IL 61820.
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Special Education Programs (ED/OSERS), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Illinois Univ., Urbana. Dept. of Special Education.
Identifiers - Location: Illinois; Indiana; Kentucky; Louisiana; Minnesota; North Carolina