Raising A Reader MA’s core program model is based on 25 years of academic research, and another ten years of program evaluation research, that shows the relationship between a child being read to at home before starting kindergarten, and academic and other success.
Skim the list of Raising A Reader Detailed Evaluation Summaries 2000 to 2009, or review the research highlighted below.
Turning the Page: Refocusing Massachusetts for Reading Success: Strategies for improving children’s language and literacy development, birth to age 9. (Dr. Nonie Lesaux, 2010.)
- 43% of Massachusetts third graders (2/3 from low-income backgrounds and 1/3 not low-income) do not read at grade level.
- The costs of reading failure are high; the majority of this large group will go on to experience significant academic difficulties, jeopardizing individual potential, and also compromising our society’s vitality.
- To refocus Massachusetts on reading success, we should direct our efforts toward improving the quality of infants’ and children’s language and reading environments across the many settings in which they are growing up, playing and studying.
- Science has never been as clear and convincing about how dependent reading skill is upon high-quality environments and experiences.
- Becoming a skilled reader – one with strong language skills, well-developed knowledge about the world, and critical thinking skills – is a process that begins at birth and continues through to adulthood.
Research on Third Grade Reading Skills and Poverty
Double Jeopardy – How Third-Grade Reading Skills and Poverty Influence High School Graduation (Donald J. Hernandez for The Annie E. Casey Foundation, 2011).
Education researchers have long recognized the importance of mastering reading by the end of third grade. Students who fail to reach this critical milestone often falter in the later grades and often drop out before earning a high school diploma. Now researchers have confirmed this link in the first national study to calculate high school graduation rates for children at different reading skill levels and with different poverty rates.
Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching Report – 35% of U.S. children enter kindergarten unprepared to learn, with most lacking the vocabulary and sentence structure crucial to school success.
Meaningful Differences in the Everyday Experience of Young American Children – Studies have found that by age 3, the observed cumulative vocabulary for children in professional families was 1,116, for working class families it was about 740, and for welfare families it was 525.
The Early Catastrophe:The 30 Million Word Gap – By age three, children from privileged families have heard 30 million more words than children from poor families. By kindergarten the gap is even greater. The consequences are catastrophic.
Early Brain Development
National Research Council and Institute of Medicine, From Neurons to Neighborhoods: The Science of Early Childhood Development – According to the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine, the human brain develops more quickly during the first five years than at any other point in one’s life.
Brain Initiative, Wisconsin Council on Children and Families- Studies have shown that 85% of the foundation for a child’s intellect, personality and skills is formed by age 5 (David Edie and Deborah Schmid, 2007).
Family Involvement Makes a Difference, Harvard Family Research Project- Parents who maintain direct and regular contact with the early educational setting and experience fewer barriers to involvement have children who demonstrate positive engagement with peers, adults, and learning¦. [In addition] family involvement in early childhood sets the stage for involvement in future school settings.
Becoming a Nation of Readers, National Commission on Reading- The single most significant factor influencing a child’s early educational success is an introduction to books and being read to at home prior to beginning school.