161630 Getting Ready to Learn Program: An Early Intervention in Development & Learning

Monday, November 5, 2007

Rosa M. Avila, BA , Community and Family Health, University of South Florida, College of Public Health, Tampa, FL
Julie Baldwin, PhD , Florida Prevention Research Center, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
The Getting Ready to Learn (GRTL) program is an early intervention program for improving the developmental skills and learning capacity of Native American children in the Northwest Arctic region of Alaska. Early intervention programs can decrease high-school drop-out rates, and increase employment rates which result in better health outcomes. The Northwest Arctic is a remote area that lacks many resources and experiences various disparities. In the Northwest Arctic Bureau of Alaska (NWABA), high-schools experience a large dropout rate of approximately 7.2%, which exceed the state-wide level (4.9%). The GRTL program will complete three full years in May 2007. Unfortunately, this program is only being offered in 4 of the 11 villages in the NWABA. This project will analyze the data that has been collected by the GRTL program from three survey instruments that are currently used to measure: development skills of approximately 170 participating infants and children, standardized test scores, and parental involvement. The project will also implement 15 interviews of the various program employees and community members to help understand the results from the secondary data analysis, how the program has been tailored to the Native community, and how to implement programs in rural communities that address the specific needs of Native families. The GRTL program can serve as a model program for other Native communities. Programs such as GRTL can provide new resources to a community that is isolated, and can lessen the gap in developmental disparities among children in the rural communities of Alaska.

Learning Objectives:
1. List how the early intervention program specifically addressed Alaskan Native American communitiesí needs. 2. Gain an understanding of the impact of early intervention on the Native community. 3. Gain an understanding of the outcomes of early intervention on the development skills and its impact on readiness for kindergarten of participating Alaska Native children who lack pre-school resources. 4. Recognize potential barriers to implementing early intervention programs in Alaskan Native communities. 5. Evaluate the outcomes and impact of early intervention programs on the participating children, parents, and community.

Keywords: Children, Alaska Natives

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.