At Bright Beginnings, crunching the numbers can help improve kids’ lives

Like any good teachers, those at the Bright Beginnings preschool are constantly assessing their students to gauge their progress and see where they might need help.

Unlike at most schools, the teachers’ eyes are also on the parents. A detailed document called a self-sufficiency matrix enables teachers and case managers at Bright Beginnings to see where families need support and to help them set goals and monitor their progress.

It’s part report card, part road map.

“We specifically support families from high-poverty areas, more specifically, D.C. families experiencing homelessness,” said Anthony Sims, director of organizational learning at Bright Beginnings, which has two campuses in Southeast Washington and is a partner in The Washington Post Helping Hand.

These are parents who want the best for their children — after all, they’ve made the decision to enroll them at Bright Beginnings — but who may not have all the tools to provide for them. Or they may themselves be mired in circumstances that make parenting difficult. Read more here.