Research & Evaluation

The LearningGames© Curriculum (Parts A, B & C of the Bright by Three program): The LearningGames curriculum is a series of research-validated early learning activities developed for the Abecedarian Project. This renowned project provided center-based intervention for children, from birth to 60 months of age, who were at risk of developmental delays. It is one of the most studied early intervention projects in the world, with the children and families tracked and evaluated until the children were 21 years old; age 30 data currently is being gathered and analyzed. Research results from the Abecedarian Project have been published in hundreds of academic articles in peer-reviewed journals, have been reported on all major network news programs, and have been described in national magazines including Newsweek and Time.

Language Power and My First Picture Book (Part B):

Hart, B and Risley, T.R. “The Early Catastrophe: The 30 Million Word Gap by Age 3 (PDF)”, American Educator, 27(1), 2003

Hart B, and Risley, T.R. Meaningful Differences. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes; 1995.

My Second Picture Book (Part C): Dialogic Reading is an interactive shared picture book reading practice designed to enhance young children’s language and literacy skills. During the shared reading practice, the adult and the child switch roles so that the child learns to become the storyteller with the assistance of the adult who functions as an active listener and questioner.

Whitehurst, G. J., Arnold, D. S., Epstein, J. N., Angell, A. L., Smith, M., & Fischel, J. E. (1994). A picture book reading intervention in day care and home for children from low-income familiesDevelopmental Psychology, 30 (5), 679–689.

Whitehurst, G. J., Epstein, J. N., Angell, A. L., Payne, A. C., Crone, D. A., & Fischel, J. E. (1994). Outcomes of an emergent literacy intervention in Head StartJournal of Educational Psychology, 86 (4), 542–555.

Program Evaluation Conducted by Independent Evaluators

2012   Long-term Impact of Bright by Three on Children’s Academic Performance by the Children’s Hospital

Led by Dr. Steven Berman, Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and endowed chair of Academic General Pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital in Denver, this study reported on the long-term impact of Bright by Three on children’s academic performance. Dr. Berman’s team conducted a randomized control trial at the Child Health Clinic between October 2002 and August 2003. Participants were randomly assigned to a Bright by Three intervention (n= 164) or injury prevention control (n=160). Follow-up was conducted at 18-29 months of age (n=179) and 8-10 years of age (n=68, 35 intervention and 33 control).

Overall, the trial demonstrated that high-risk children (i.e. those with three or more risk factors such as minorities, single-parent homes, low maternal education, etc.) showed evidence of benefiting from the Bright Beginnings’ program well into elementary school.

  • In the control group, 52% of high risk children had poor school performance compared to 37% of high risk children in the LP group (RR = 0.71, CI 95 [0.38,1.3]).

2011   Program Study by CEPA

The Center for Education Policy Analysis (CEPA) at the School of Public Affairs, University of Colorado Denver conducted a statewide parent survey to help Bright Beginnings more fully understand its impact. The survey was designed to measure the extent to which parents who received visits perceive that using the program’s tools and strategies: 1) helped promote age‐appropriate child development; 2) encouraged healthy behaviors; 3) promoted parent‐to‐child reading; and 4) assisted in their choice of quality child care.

Findings from the survey indicated that overall, parents found the tools and strategies useful.

  • 87.1% of parents reported that they do something with their child because of what they learned from the information and materials, with two-thirds of this group (65.4%) reporting they now read more to their child.
  • A substantially higher number of Hispanic parents than non-Hispanic parents reported that they do something with their child because of what they learned.
  • Nearly all parents (94.5%) said they have a better understanding of what their child is able to do at each age based on the information they received in their visit.
  • Most parents (89.3%) reported they know where in their community they can go for help.

2008-2009   Statewide Program Impact Evaluation by OMNI Research Institute

The Statewide Program Impact Evaluation conducted by OMNI Research Institute as part of the Second Hand Smoke Prevention (TGYS-TTI) Evaluation confirmed follow-up data from a 2005-2006 study (below):

  • 94.7% of respondents reported that the Bright Beginnings books and materials increased their confidence as a parent.
  • 94.5% of respondents reported that the Bright Beginnings visit made them more knowledgeable about the resources available to them in their community.
  • 95.4% of respondents said they learned useful information about their child’s development from their Bright Beginnings visit.
  • Two-thirds of respondents said they changed their parenting as a result of the things they learned from the Bright Beginnings program.
  • 95.4% of respondents said the Bright Beginnings visit made them feel supported as a parent.

2005-2006   Statewide Program Evaluation by OMNI Research Institute

The following summary highlights some of the key results of Bright Beginnings’ statewide program follow-up evaluation completed by 838 families who had received a Bright Beginnings infant or one-year-old part at least 6 month prior to follow-up (Note: the two-year-old part had not been launched at this time and was therefore not measured as part of this evaluation).

Parents Report Using the Bright Beginnings Materials

  • 75.7% of parents used My First Picture Book with their child. Of these parents, 41.2% reported using it at least twice per week with their child.
  • 74% of parents used the core parenting handbook Giving Your Child a Bright Beginning.
  • 70.6% ofparents used the LearningGames© child development book. Of these parents, 49.4% reported using it at least twice per week with their child.
  • Families typically considered more “at risk” (due to factors such as low education or minority status) reported using the LearningGames© materials more frequently (either daily or at least 2-3 days per week) than other groups if they reported using them at all.

Parents Learn from the Bright Beginnings Resources

  • 97% of parents who used Language Power at least once a month reported it helped them understand why talking to their child is critical for their child’s development.
  • 93% of parents felt the LearningGames© book helped them better understand how their child learns.

Parents Learn from the Bright Beginnings Resources

  • 98% of parents who used Language Power at least once a month reported it gave them useful tools to help support healthy interactions with their child.
  • 94.5% of families who received a Bright Beginnings visit reported their child was up to date with immunizations. Only 50% of Colorado children who were fully immunized at age 2 in 2009 according to the 2014 Kids Count in Colorado!.
  • The “Child-Centered Literacy Orientation (CCLO)” was used to assess the preference for and prevalence of reading between Bright Beginnings parents and their children, and it is a measure of a child’s pre-literacy.
    • CCLO was present for 88% of the families who participated in Bright Beginnings.
    • When analyzed for specific risk factors (e.g. race, mother’s education), CCLO was present for between 42.9% -73.3% of families depending on the risk factor.

2005-2006   “Promoting Language Development During Well Child Care Visits” by the University of Colorado School of Medicine & the Children’s Hospital

The Department of Pediatrics, University of Colorado School of Medicine and the Children’s Hospital conducted a randomized control trial in which the experimental group (Language Power group) was provided the Bright Beginnings Language Power and My First Picture Book language development program for parents of children between the ages of 12 – 24 months. Their outcomes were compared with a control group who did not receive the materials.

Language Power mothers adopted the conversational style of interaction promoted by Language Power more often and, in turn, the childrens’ behavior indicated they were familiar with and able to engage in a conversational interaction around the picture book.

  • The Language Power group of mothers were more likely than the control group of mothers to report daily bedtime reading (30% vs. 18%).
  • A child’s vocabulary percentile (as measured by the MacArthur Communicative Development Inventory) at follow-up was significantly higher for those whose parents reported reading 6-7 nights a week than for those whose parents reported less frequent reading.
    • This indicated an indirect effect of Language Power on vocabulary mediated through affecting the frequency of reading at night.
  • The pattern, promoted by Language Power, of using praise, asking questions and talking more, was significantly more likely in the Language Power group of mothers than in the control group of mothers. Language Power children spoke more words (per turn in a back-and-forth conversation) than children in the control group, and talked more when given the familiar Language Power picture book.
  • 50% of the Language Power group of mothers met three criteria (using praise, asking at least 22 questions and averaging more than 8 words per turn) versus only 7.1% of the control group of mothers.

Berman S, Camp BW. Tools to promote language development from 12-24 months of age: assessment of the Bright Beginnings Moving On Program materials [abstract]. Pediatr Res. 2002; 51:18A. A source for Relationship Between the Cognitive Environment and Vocabulary Development During the Second Year of Life

Berman S, Cunningham M, Pratte K, Camp B. Promoting language development during well-child visits. Paper presented at: Pediatric Academic Societies Annual Meeting; May 5, 2005; Washington, DC. A source for Relationship Between the Cognitive Environment and Vocabulary Development During the Second Year of Life