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Citation:Anderson, S. A. (2000). How parental involvement makes a difference in reading achievement. Reading Improvement, 37(2), 61-86.

In this case study, the researcher wonders, "what parents are doing, if they are aware of their children's abilities, and if they are helping at home at all." She explores the idea that if parents and teachers work together to improve reading, it will make a difference. Pre-test results on the Gates-MacGinitie indicated that the students' comprehension mean was 1.5. After 6 weeks, posttest results on the Gates-MacGinitie showed 85% of the students improved in vocabulary, and 90% improved in reading comprehension, although 75% of the parents did not participate. The study took place in spring, 1999, in a St. Louis City public elementary school in which 100% of the student population is African American and 95% received federally funded free breakfast and lunch. The study included 30 second graders in four different classrooms who daily received 45 minutes of reading assistance in a Chapter I remedial reading program. To establish a baseline, students were pre-tested in vocabulary and reading comprehension with the Gates-MacGinitie reading test. After the preliminary data collection, parents were requested to assist their children with reading one evening per week for six weeks. A phone questionnaire queried parents about their and their children's attitudes about reading. The author attributed the low vocabulary scores to the students' lack of parental involvement. However, if these children attended early childhood programs since the age of 3 or 4, a lack of teacher involvement in teaching for recognition of initial sounds and identification of common nouns could also be a causal factor.

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