Kristen Beach and colleagues at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, examined the effects of receiving a reading programme during the summer on the reading achievement of struggling readers in comparison to similarly performing struggling readers who did not receive this summer intervention.
Thirty-two rising second and third graders (Years 3 and 4) in a large urban school in south-eastern US comprised the experimental group. To be eligible for the study, pupils had to score beneath a cutoff point for each grade level on reading fluency. The comparison group was composed of pupils at a nearby school who were matched by age, ethnicity and standardised test scores the prior spring. Both schools were Title I schools (Title 1 provides financial assistance to local educational agencies and schools with high numbers or high percentages of children from low-income families) and both sets of pupils were African-American and Hispanic and from low-income backgrounds.
Pupils in the experimental group received 15 intensive hour-long one-to-one or one-to-two sessions from 10 teachers using the Sound Partners programme five times a week for three weeks.
Post-test scores in the autumn showed that:
- Although pupils who received Sound Partners in the summer outscored the control group in overall reading measures (ES= +0.25), gains in fluency were minimal.
- No gains in any area were statistically significant.
The authors discuss these findings and conclude that for early readers who have not mastered basic decoding and fluency, an intervention that is longer than 15 hours over three weeks is necessary in order to produce significant improvement in reading.
They recommend that planners of summer programmes aimed at increasing reading achievement carefully consider the variables that will lead to the greatest success.
Source：Beach, K. D., McIntyre, E., Philippakos, Z. A., Mraz, M., Pilonieta, P., & Vintinner, J. P. (2018). Effects of a Summer Reading Intervention on Reading Skills for Low-Income Black and Hispanic Students in Elementary School. Reading & Writing Quarterly, 34(3), 263–280.