Closing the achievement gap

OMAMA, Neb. (WOWT) -- A new report shows metro schools are making strides in cutting the achievement gap when it comes to income and race.

The report points to a program that benefits more than 3,500 children in Douglas and Sarpy counties. It's called the Superintendents' Early Childhood Plan.

Using a concept called School as Hub, it connects vulnerable young kids to education and services early on. It includes voluntary home visits and high quality preschool.

Organizers say they have found children's learning and development begins right from birth.

Founding Executive Director Samuel Meisels said, “The brain really develops from those early years on. The architecture of the brain is something that starts very early to evolve and continues to grow but in those first three-to-five years of life, that's the prime time for learning."

Local school leaders say the program is especially unique because they start working with kids so young.

Findings of a recent study issued by the Buffett Early Childhood Institute at UNL show kids are making progress in several categories.