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Citation:Faires, J., Nichols, W. D., & Rickelman, R. (2000). Effects of parental involvement in developing competent readers in first grade. Reading Psychology, 21(3), 195-215. EJ614440.

The purpose of the study is to determine if parental training and involvement in the teaching of selected reading lessons increase student reading levels. Findings suggested that such training and involvement increased first-graders' reading levels. Also, when they learned skills to help their children academically, parents became active and resourceful. The study was conducted in a first grade urban classroom in the southeastern United States, with 20 students in the class. Balanced literacy was the reading program in the classroom and in the school. Based on the results of a mid-year assessment, eight students were identified as reading below grade level. The parents of four children in this group became the experimental group. Parents agreed to commit to 20-30 minutes three times per week for five weeks, using reading lessons planned by the classroom teacher for each child. Parental training sessions were conducted before each home reading lesson. The other four students and their parents became the control group. Six mothers worked with students one-on-one, utilizing activities from the Reading Recovery Model each week during the two-hour literacy block. This study indicated that teachers can provide parents with structured outlines for improving their child's reading performance and support them by providing parents materials and activities that they may not have at home. Researchers note that it was difficult to determine the quality and quantity of parent involvement in the two groups and whether progress was developmental or actually enhanced by the activities. The small number and unique characteristics of students limited the generalizability of results.

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