Supplemental Literacy Programs Catch Children Up: Effective strategies to reduce achievement gap faced by students in rural america, a randomized control trial study

Children who are not reading on grade level by the end of third grade are at greater risk of dropping out of high school than their peers who have reached this essential milestone. Children who are living in poverty and not reading on grade level by the end of the third grade are at even greater risk. Children in rural America are especially likely to be both poor and below grade level.

Save the Children offers in-school literacy programming to elementary school students in kindergarten through third grade living in high-poverty, rural communities in order to help them overcome these obstacles and acquire the literacy skills that will position them for lifelong success. The purpose of this study was to determine, through the implementation of a rigorous, randomized controlled trial study design at nine program sites in Mississippi, whether Save the Children's daily, in-school literacy programming produces greater test score gains for students reading below grade level than participation in schools' language arts curriculum alone.

The study results indicate Save the Children's programming produces statistically significant literacy and reading comprehension test score gains for K-3rd grade students in Mississippi who began the school year reading below grade level. The results indicate that in-school literacy programming featuring Read-Alouds and Guided Independent Reading Practice in daily, half-hour one-on-one and small group tutoring sessions may help children living in low-income communities in rural America acquire the literacy skills they need to succeed throughout their educational careers and beyond.

Published 2019-06-12

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