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Emergent literacy skills achievement of kindergarteners in relation to sample demographics in southeastern Connecticut

KellyAnn Graves, Johnson & Wales University


This ex post facto, quasi-experimental study was conducted at a single-site, kindergarten through eighth grade district in rural, southeastern Connecticut. Of the single cohort of kindergarten students (N = 35) participating, eight students received fall intervention from a trained paraprofessional using Stepping Stones to Literacy and winter intervention using Road to the Code and six students received winter intervention from the trained paraprofessional using Stepping Stones to Literacy. The first research question investigated early literacy skills achievement, as measured by the Dynamic Indicator of Basic Literacy Skills, between treatment and comparison groups using two commercially available interventions: Stepping Stones to Literacy and Road to the Code. The second research question examined learner characteristics and demographics as explanatory variables for early literacy skills achievement of the study sample. Study findings indicate that all treatment participants made statistically significant gains in early literacy skills achievement, generally kept pace with their non-at-risk peers, but that neither treatment closed the achievement gap between at-risk and not-at-risk for reading difficulty participants. Both fall (Initial Phoneme Segmentation, ES = .04, F (1, 34) = 1.20, p < .01; Letter Naming Fluency, ES = .03, F (1, 34) = 1.20, p < .01) and winter (Letter Naming Fluency, ES = .03, F (2, 32) = 0.55, p < .05; Phoneme Segmentation Fluency, ES = .01, F (2, 32) = 0.87, p < .05; Nonsense Word Fluency, ES = .03, F (2, 32) = 0.23, p < .05) gains were small for all treatment groups. Multiple stepwise regression analysis found that non-intact biological family settings negatively impacted rapid letter naming, explaining between 13% and 14% of variance. Treatment fidelity examination indicates that the treatment was implemented with fidelity. Study recommendations include investigations into the impact of core reading instruction on early literacy skills in order to determine efficient intervention programming that supplements classroom instruction for specifically identified populations (e.g., Hispanic males residing in a single parent household) and longitudinal kindergarten cohort data collection of reading achievement on district-wide measurements in order to develop longevity data as related to later reading difficulty and relationship to treatment efficacy, additional supplemental services, and learner characteristics/demographics.

Subject Area

Early childhood education|Elementary education|Literacy|Reading instruction

Recommended Citation

Graves, KellyAnn, "Emergent literacy skills achievement of kindergarteners in relation to sample demographics in southeastern Connecticut" (2010). Dissertation & Theses Collection. AAI3402116.