Core Task 5: We undertake R&D projects in order to: (1) synthesize existing research literature; (2) develop literacy interventions (e.g., lesson plans and other curriculum materials); and (3) improve the infrastructure supporting our literacy interventions.

Examples of work falling under this core research task include:

Kim, J. S., & Quinn, D. M. (2013). The effects of summer reading on low-income children’s literacy achievement from kindergarten to grade 8 a meta-analysis of classroom and home interventions. Review of Educational Research, 83(3), 386-431.

This meta-analysis reviewed research on summer reading interventions conducted in the United States and Canada from 1998 to 2011. The synthesis included 41 classroom- and home- based summer reading interventions, involving children from kindergarten to Grade 8. Compared to control group children, children who participated in classroom interventions, involving teacher-directed literacy lessons, or home interventions, involving child-initiated book reading activities, enjoyed significant improvement on multiple reading outcomes. The magnitude of the treatment effect was positive for summer reading interventions that employed research-based reading instruction and included a majority of low-income children. Sensitivity analyses based on within-study comparisons indicated that summer reading interventions had significantly larger benefits for children from low-income backgrounds than for children from a mix of income backgrounds. The findings highlight the potentially positive impact of classroom- and home-based summer reading interventions on the reading comprehension ability of low- income children.

White, T. G., & Kim, J. S. (2008). Teacher and parent scaffolding of voluntary summer reading. The Reading Teacher, 62(2), 116-125.

The authors designed and implemented a voluntary reading program that was intended to reduce loss in reading achievement over the summer months, particularly for low-income and ethnic minority children. The program had two major components: providing eight books that were well matched to each child’s reading level and interests end-of-year lessons and activities for teachers and parents to provide support or scaffolding for children’s summer reading Teacher and parent scaffolding consisted of comprehension strategies instruction and oral reading practice. The results of two experiments demonstrated that the program had positive and educationally meaningful effects on reading achievement. These effects were largest for black and Hispanic children, ranging from 1.7 to 5.1 months of additional learning. Simply giving children books without any form of scaffolding did not have positive effects.