Columbia, SC (WLTX) -First Steps, South Carolina's early childhood readiness program, announced significant increases in test scores among South Carolina's first-graders Monday.

The announcement came at Brookland Baptist Church in West Columbia.

Brookland Baptist's early childhood center is among hundreds of partner organizations in the State of South Carolina that receives First Steps 4K school vouchers for some of the neediest children to receive a quality preschool education.

These private-public partnerships are one of the reasons that more first-graders are succeeding in South Carolina's schools than ever before.