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Our Curriculum

HighScope® has been chosen by Talitha Koum for its researched effectiveness.

When we were starting Talitha Koum, we knew we were committing ourselves to a long-term program. It will take years of ministry to break the cycle of poverty and chaos that grips this community.

The curriculum we use in our Nurture Center program is called HighScope®. Through the Perry Preschool Project (1962 to 1967), the powerful effects of HighScope have been longitudinally studied for over forty years. The original students were toddlers from a deep pocket of poverty who were at high risk of future school failure. Researchers tracked the original students from infancy to their 40th birthday.  See bottom of this page for those results.

Yet since the Perry Preschool Project, which ended in 1967, neuroscience has burgeoned with fresh knowledge via high tech capabilities undreamed of five decades ago. Every year since Talitha Koum's Nurture Center opened in 2003, we have kept pace with the findings and continuously structured our program around the latest data on both brain development and the effects of trauma.

Those scientific findings were at the heart of our sensorimotor intervention. HighScope had a sensory component, but trauma-affected children need far more sensory input by way of proprioceptive and vestibular activities that ensure the child has a strong foundation on which to self-regulate and learn. Today, Talitha Koum includes 3 1/2 hours per day of sensory modulation activities with the HighScope cognitive curriculum.

HighScope is also the purveyor of our Conflict Resolution process. With children, we call it Problem Solving. It is a six-step process that leads children to solve their own problems rather than having an adult do it for them. Our children learn the steps and experience them again and again until they know what's coming next! Often we see one child act as the teacher and help two other children work through the steps. Such a vital skill for children reared in neighborhoods fraught with violence as the way to solve all conflicts.


The HighScope® results are impressive:

Study Population and Methodology:

• 123 African Americans born in poverty and at high risk of failing in school.

• Test group used HighScope® curriculum while control group had no preschool program.

• Data collected annually ages 3 to 11 and at ages 14, 15, 19, 27, and, recently, at 39-41.

High school graduate or GED

HighScope®    /  71%
Control                /  54%
HighScope®   / 84%
Control               / 35%

Earn more than $24,000 per year by age 27 (1990 dollars)

HighScope®  / 42%
Control               / 6%

Home ownership

HighScope®    /  36%
Control                /  13%

More than 5 arrests by age 28

HighScope®   / 12%
Control               / 45%