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Citation:Invernizzi, M., Rosemary, C., Richards, C. J., & Richards, H. C. (1997). At-risk readers and community volunteers: A 3-year perspective. Scientific Studies of Reading, 1(3), 277-300.

The purpose of this study is to analyze the effectiveness of literacy tutoring, provided by community volunteers, to meet the needs of a large number of low-achieving readers. The three-year study found that the tutorial program significantly increased reading skills and achievement in low-achieving first and second graders, as measured by pre- and post-tests. Although students were not randomly assigned to comparison groups, the study found that students that attended more sessions gained significantly more than students that attended fewer sessions. There were no comparisons with students that did not participate in the tutoring program at all. The program was determined to be a cost-effective alternative to other reading intervention programs. Researchers also found that the program improved over time, with greater achievement by participants in the second and third years of the program. Over 350 first and second graders participated in the program, which was conducted in six elementary schools. The program was coordinated by education graduate students, who also assessed students' reading skills, supervised and trained the tutors, and developed individualized curriculum for the tutoring sessions. This study can be useful in understanding the short-term effects of using non-professional volunteers to provide effective literacy tutoring to low-achieving first graders. This study can also be informative about school, university, and community partnerships to support reading achievement.

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