Kansas City, Kan.'s First Things First program helped boost gains in reading proficiency scores in the two years since 2000-01, with middle school students 62% more likely to read at a proficient level, noted an independent study earlier this year. At White Church Elementary, one of only two metropolitan schools to win the federal Blue Ribbon award, the use of First Things First strategies helped enable 100% of children to meet state math proficiency targets this year.

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