Grainger County Even Start


Cherrie Ivey, Site Director

(865) 828-8465



Even Start (ES) is a literacy based education program, for families deemed most-in-need, designed to improve the academic achievement of young children and their parents, especially in the area of reading.

The ES model has four components.  They are:

  • early childhood education;
  • adult literacy (adult basic and secondary-level education, instruction for English language learners, and career and technical training);
  • parenting education; and
  • interactive parent and child learning together (PACT) time

In addition to the four components, ES personnel are required to visit the home of every participating family a minimum of one hour every month. Scheduling is determined at the local level.

Adults, and teen parents, who meet the criteria for most-in-need families are eligible.  Participating children must be between the age of birth through age 7. A family may continue to participate after a child has reached the age of 8 for one of two reasons:

  1. The child has younger siblings within the household participating in the program. However, upon reaching the age of 8 years, a child will go into a monitoring phase. Services may still be rendered to the older child but at a reduced intensity or to address specific needs.
  2. Participating families will still be served an additional 2 years to allow the adults to continue or complete their educational goals.