Summer Literacy for Young Vulnerable Learners: A Study of Caregiver Involvement and Program Stability

Ashley Graham, John McNamara, Jackie VanLankveld


Emergent literacy programs for young children are significantly more effective when caregivers are integral components of program delivery. This is particularly important when designing programs for vulnerable children such as those with lower academic achievement due to learning and language disabilities, lower socioeconomic environments, or learning in a language other than their native language. Including caregivers in program delivery will impact not only the effectiveness of the program but also its stability. This exploratory study investigated the efficacy and stability of a summer family literacy program on the reading achievement of 14 four-year-old children completing their pre-kindergarten year. Children were assessed prior to, immediately proceeding, and 6 months following the summer program. The results of the study indicated that children demonstrated significant gains in all aspects of emergent literacy and furthermore, sustained these gains 6 months after the program.

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