Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Brenda K. Kennedy


A southeastern elementary school evidenced many students with a consistent decrease in oral reading fluency (ORF) rates as the 2nd grade year progressed, leading to weakness in reading comprehension in the 3rd grade. Reading comprehension is critical for academic success, as students who merely decode words do not gain knowledge from the text. This qualitative case study explored the successful strategies, both inside and outside of the classroom, used by parents and teachers of this southeastern elementary school to positively impact the reading comprehension rates of 2nd grade students. Constructivism and transactional learning served as the conceptual frameworks for this study. Archival data were used to identify 66 students who had exited 1st grade having met expectations on the ORF assessment and who continued to meet expectations throughout 2nd grade. The parents of these students and their 6 teachers comprised the purposeful sample. Three parents and 3 teachers participated in the study, yielding 6 interviews and 1 teacher artifact for analysis. Open coding and thematic analysis were used. The common themes that emerged were daily reading, parental support, clear expectations, access to high interest books, small group instruction, and cooperative learning strategies that positively impacted reading comprehension in 2nd grade. The results of this study led to the development of a series of parent workshops and a series of teacher workshops that focus on reading strategies for use in the home and strategies for teachers to work effectively with parents. Implications for positive social change include providing the local site with research-based findings and a workshop series teaching successful strategies used by parents and teachers to increase student reading comprehension.