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Experimental evaluation of the value added by Raising a Reader and supplemental parent training in shared reading

In an effort toward developing a comprehensive, effective, scalable, and sustainable early childhood education program for at-risk populations, we conducted an experimental evaluation of the value added by 2 family involvement programs to the Texas Early Education Model (TEEM). A total of 91 preschool classrooms that served minority populations of low socioeconomic status were randomly assigned to TEEM, TEEM plus Raising a Reader (RAR), or TEEM plus RAR augmented by Family Nights. Assessments of oral language and print knowledge were completed by more than 500 children at the beginning and end of the school year. Multilevel analyses of covariance controlled for classroom nesting and individual differences in age, ethnicity, and pretest scores. Although RAR alone demonstrated no added value, augmentation of RAR with Family Nights demonstrated significant impacts on measures of oral language (ts = 1.81-2.51, .05 ps .01) and print knowledge (t = 2.39, p.01). Practice or Policy: Thus, parent training in shared reading practices appears to be necessary for children to benefit from programs that enrich the home literacy environment. That the combined program particularly benefited children who started preschool lagging behind in school readiness (ts = 1.64-2.49, ps.05) suggests that this comprehensive model offers hope for closing the achievement gap. (author abstract)
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Reports & Papers
United States

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