Our Impact

Impact report co-authored by Colin McGinnis and Casey Kaiser.

Each year, South Side Early Learning strives to ensure every child, regardless of background, is able to benefit from a holistic, high-quality early education. During the 2018-2019 school year (September 2018 through June 2019) students and families at SSEL saw tremendous growth and development.

To use this impact report, hover over the graphs to see count variables and other metrics.

SSEL by the Numbers

Child and Family Demographics

This year SSEL enrolled 138 children, of which 56% were girls and 44% were boys. 58% of children were Black or African American, and 28% were White. A total of 8 children were identified as being of Hispanic decent.

A majority of SSEL children grow up in the South Side (43206, 43207), with families representing a range of neighborhoods from around the Columbus area at our school.



SSEL Families by Zipcode


In addition to the racial diversity of our students and the neighborhoods in which they are growing up, SSEL is fortunate in being able to capture the data that helps us determine how best to improve children and family outcomes.

Program Outcomes

Every week day, 6a.m. to 6p.m., we open our doors to children and families. This year our school clocked in 2,416.5 program hours. In addition to our core curriculum, these hours included visits from friends like Columbus’ Jazz Arts Group and Ballet Met. At SSEL, it is our goal to provide as many opportunities to our families as possible. For more information on partnering with SSEL, please visit our Programs page.


2,416.5 Program Hours

logged during the 2018-2019 school year

Impact on Development

Developmental Expectations

From birth to age 5, a child’s brain develops more than at any other time in life. And early brain development has a lasting impact on a child’s ability to learn and succeed in school and life. The emotional, social and physical development of young children has been shown time and time again to have an effect on overall development and the adults they will become.

At SSEL we look at development for all students (birth-to-five) in six domains: social emotional, physical, language, cognition, literacy, and math. We are proud that this year, 82% of all students met or exceeded developmental expectations.

Kindergarten Readiness

Kindergarten Readiness

As determined by Teaching Strategies Gold literacy and mathematics outcomes.

In Franklin County, only 43% of children are ready for kindergarten by the time they graduate preschool. “Kindergarten readiness” is used by educators to describe the set of skills and tools a child will need to be successful as they move into kindergarten. In Ohio, emphasis is on ensuring a child is physically, socially and emotionally ready to participate in school. This means, in addition to academic skills like mastering foundational literacy and mathematic skills, other abilities such as keeping hands to ourselves, cooperating and playing with others, communicating needs effectively, using the restroom independently, and properly cutting with scissors are also important. While there are several measures to assess kindergarten readiness (local school districts will administer a formal assessment before enrolling children in kindergarten), SSEL has two measures we use to determine if a preschooler is ready to move on. These include the literacy and mathematics subset of Teaching Strategies Gold (TSG), and the kindergarten readiness checklist.

This year, we saw amazing outcomes for our 31 graduates. Using the TSG, 87% of our students were deemed kindergarten ready. However, most excitingly, 100% of our students were determined to be kindergarten ready using the kindergarten readiness checklist.

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100% Kindergarten Ready

according to Kindergarten Readiness Checklist.

Family Service Center

During the 2018-2019 school year SSEL saw considerable growth in the Family Service Center (FSC). In total we had 8 Parent Meetings and Family Fun Days covering a range of topics including financial wellness and how to choose a school. We moved long time Family Service Specialist Samantha Bailey “in-house,” as well as grew our Family Service Specialist’s team by adding Casey Kaiser as our Social Impact Program Manager and Damon Arterbridge as our Dad’s Matter Program Manager. By strengthening the FSC team, we will be able to better serve families and expand programming, such as bringing Dad’s Matter to SSEL.

Through our Full Bellies, Full Minds program which provides a healthy breakfast, lunch and snack to children at SSEL in partnership with Mid-Ohio Food Bank’s Roots Cafe, we served over 38,000 meals. These meals are served family-style, and allow SSEL students the opportunity to continue learning while breaking bread.


38,149 meals served

through our Full Bellies, Full Minds program.