Program Evaluation

The Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy works with various organizations to assess and evaluate programs and services related to early childhood learning. Using evidence-based assessments, high quality research methods, and best practices in community partnership and communication, the Crane Center offers its expertise to organizations wanting to understand their programmatic impact – and ultimately, improve how they serve children and families.

Some examples of past and current projects include:

Early literacy at Ohio’s libraries

Crane staff has partnered with the Columbus Metropolitan Library and the Cleveland Public Library on multiple projects over the years to conduct evaluation of various library projects. This has included, for instance, evaluation of the impacts of summer reading clubs, evaluation of tutoring programs, and evaluation of the children’s space. Our work also included developing tools for evaluating these activities, such as the Early Literacy Library Program Assessment) to assess the quality of early literacy programming in the library context.

Kindergarten readiness and transition

Ready4Success is a program funded by the City of Columbus and Mayor Andrew Ginther’s Early Start Columbus initiative to expand high-quality pre-K options for young children. To assess the program’s impact, Crane evaluators assessed teacher participation in online professional development programs, participation in individualized coaching, and student performance on literacy and math assessments.

In partnership with PNC Bank and the City of Columbus, Summer Success is a four-week, high-intensity program designed to give children experience in a high-quality early childhood classroom setting during the summer before their kindergarten year. Crane evaluators assessed the program over the past four summers and found that children significantly gained in crucial academic and social-emotional skills, and that families felt supported during the kindergarten transition.

Reading strategies for young children

Funded through an innovation grant from the Ohio Department of Education, Sit Together and Read (STAR-Ohio) is a program to develop and strengthen young children’s awareness of and knowledge about print. Crane evaluators assessed the effectiveness of the program, finding that the evidence-based reading techniques were helpful in early childhood education classrooms. (The program also supports read-aloud best practices in home and other environments.)

If you are interested in learning more about Crane’s program evaluation or assessments for programs or projects, please contact Sunny L. Munn, Director of Evaluation and Innovation at the Crane Center, at