Wichita TOP Children's Fund
The primary project supported by the Wichita TOP
Children's Fund is The Opportunity Project Early Learning
Centers, two first-class preschools located in the poorest
areas of Wichita, Kansas. These centers are dedicated to
creating school readiness for more than 400 at-risk children
each year and collaborating with educators around the
country to improve early education for all children living in
TOP centers have been so successful; they have been
recognized as a model for statewide replication.
In 2007, Governor Kathleen Sebelius praised The Opportunity Project Early Learning Centers in her State of the
State Address saying, "...initiatives like The Opportunity Project in Wichita have shown us what's possible when
children receive the help they need at an early age. This wonderful early learning program for low-income children
is a great example of a public-private partnership at work."
According to national studies, children who take part in a high-quality, early learning program like TOP, are more
likely to graduate from high school, attend college and find secure employment as adults. Founded in 2001, TOP
Schools have produced impressive results. Graduates test in the 90th percentile of proficiency in key learning
TOP Early Learning Centers have earned a four-star rating from the Kansas Quality Rating System and are
accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. For more information about TOP Early
Learning Centers visit http://www.theopportunityproject.com.
Additionally, the Wichita TOP Children's Fund is currently supporting a longitudinal study that will follow TOP
graduates throughout their academic careers and into early adulthood. The study will measure the success of
these students in areas such as standardized test scores, high school graduation rates and class attendance.
Positive outcomes will provide leverage to provide public funding for more early education programs like TOP and
give a larger number of poor children the preparation needed to be successful when they enter public schools.
"Children are likely to live up to what you believe of them."
- Lady Bird Johnson, former U.S. First Lady
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