Document Type



Doctor of Education (EdD)


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor's Name

Laura Dinehart

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Charles Bleiker

Third Advisor's Name

Maureen Kenny

Fourth Advisor's Name

Diana Valle-Riestra


early intervention, pre-literacy, at risk children, home literacy environment

Date of Defense



The current study examined the impact of an early summer literacy program and the mediating effects of the home literacy environment on the language and literacy outcomes of a group of children at-risk for long-term developmental and academic delays. Participating children (n=54) were exposed to an intensive book-reading intervention each summer (June through mid August) over a 3-year period.

The current study implemented an ex post facto, quasi-experimental design. This nonequivalent group design involved a pretest and posttest over three time points for a non-randomized treatment group and a matched non-treatment comparison group.

Results indicated that literacy scores did improve for the children over the 3-year period; however, language scores did not experience the same rate of change over time. Receptive language was significantly impacted by attendance, and race/ethnicity. Expressive language was impacted significantly by gestational age and attendance. Results also indicated that language outcomes for young children who are exposed to a literacy program were higher than those who did not participate; however, only receptive language yielded significance at the p

This study concluded that at-risk young children do benefit from center-based literacy intervention. This literacy experience, however, is also driven by the children’s home environment, their attendance to the program, whether they were premature or not and the type of caregiver.





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