YMCA of Central Ohio-SPARK

YMCA of Central Ohio-SPARK

NLD ID #91524
YMCA of Central Ohio-SPARK logo

Contact Information

1907 Leonard Ave.
Suite 100
Columbus, OH 43219

Primary Contact

Samantha Stewart

(614) 689-2096


Hours of Operation


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Program Overview

SPARK (Supporting Partnerships to Assure Ready Kids) was developed in 2001 in order to create a seamless transition for vulnerable children into kindergarten and to help them be successful learners. SPARK is a home visiting family-focused kindergarten readiness program that works collaboratively with families, schools, and the community. Each month, children receive a new book, a lesson activity, educational supplies, and participate in home and group learning opportunities, in order to increase the child's success in school and life. SPARK focuses on assisting families to help children get ready for school by building reading, language, and social skills. SPARK Ohio has helped more than 5,000 families prepare their preschool-aged children for kindergarten while working collaboratively with schools to enhance transition practices. SPARK serves children turning three or four years of age by September 30th of each year throughout Franklin County.

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Cost Info

There is no cost to families to participate in this home based kindergarten readiness program.

Student and Volunteer Success Stories

Crystal, one of our Parent Partners, is working with a family who has two children in the SPARK program; Sherin, who is five and her four year old brother Marky. Both Sherin and Marky will be kindergarten eligible in the fall of 2017. Initially; Sherin and Marky's mom, Joy, expressed a lot of frustration during the home visits. She was very upset by Marky's apparent lack of understanding and skills; so much that she had told her Parent Partner she would probably not enroll Marky in kindergarten in the fall. Joy stated she felt he didn't understand as much as Sherin and she didn't feel like she could work with him because she lacked the necessary patience.

During visits Joy would often say to her Parent Partner, "See, I can't get him to do that!" or "You have more patience than me!" Each time Crystal would encourage her to help him with a task, if he made a mistake, she would step in with positive reinforcement, such as, "That's ok, we can try it again! Mom is great at this, she can help you!" Crystal also began modeling new techniques for Joy to use with Marky such as hand over hand printing practice and positive ways to correct his mistakes. Crystal and Joy frequently discussed the differences in the personalities of her two SPARK children and how different strategies need to be used for each of them in order to build on their personal strengths. As the year has progressed, Joy has commented on how surprised she is with Marky's ability!

In the last three visits, Crystal has seen Mom work positively with not only Sherin but most especially with Marky! Now Joy will assist Marky without telling him things are wrong or backwards, she gives him "thinking time" before giving him answers, she uses a calmer tone with him, and shows great patience. The biggest success so far, on the last visit Marky needed help with something and for the first time instead of asking his Parent Partner for help, he asked him mom instead! A first for this family!

This program listing was last updated: February 15, 2024.

All information has been provided by this organization. Do you see outdated information? Please contact NLD Support.

Education services

  • Read and write better
  • Help my child learn
  • Learn English
  • Improve my math skills

Instruction Type

  • Instruction in multiple languages