Low-income children stand to gain the most from high quality pre-school education, but they are also the least likely to receive it. And this is true even though states predict the number of jail cells they will need by assessing the lack of reading proficiency in fourth graders. So you can see why AppleTree Institute is dedicated to closing the achievement gap for the most vulnerable children before they enter kindergarten. Hiring teachers with college and advanced degrees to create preschool centers of excellence in language and literacy, and guaranteeing the necessary training and professional development, is central. Making this research-based instructional program available to as many children as possible is also key. Winner of a prestigious, five-year, Investing in Innovation grant, AppleTree enrolls 620 children (with a goal of 800 in the coming years) and its students make remarkable strides: 25% higher than the average DC student on letter recognition at the beginning of kindergarten and 70% higher on oral vocabulary by 2nd grade. You can ensure that these children get the great beginning they deserve.