Date of Conferral

1-1-2011

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Psychology

Advisor

Jay Greiner

Abstract

Many researchers have documented that reading fluency scores continue to be a national concern for the United States and have suggested that early reading failure has long-term detrimental effects on society. However, much less is known regarding specific interventions that could reduce this concern. Investigators in other studies have suggested the development of early school-home partnerships to improve reading scores. The purpose of this quasi-experimental study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a systematic school-home intervention to improve reading fluency scores. Following the theoretical foundation of emergent literacy theory and Joyce Epstein's framework, the research question focuses on the association between reading fluency scores and early school-home communication. The intervention consisted of using informative memos, regular mailings of information to home address, and monthly newsletters to parents. Participants represented four kindergarten classes in a diverse northeastern US community (n = 85). Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) was used to gather data. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) revealed that there was a significant statistical difference in the reading fluency scores between the control and treatment groups. Based upon the observed increases in reading scores, the early school-home intervention was effective. It is suggested that schools apply this school-home communication intervention particularly in the early grades and encourage parent participation. These findings make an important contribution to social change by providing schools, parents, and school leaders with a systematic method to enhance reading performance by targeting students at an early age and their parents to promote long-term student success and enhance academic learning.