ADVANCING RESEARCH, IMPROVING EDUCATION                               

The National Center for Family and Community Connections with Schools

Supporting School, Family, and Community Connections to Increase School Success

About the Center

Connection Collection

Annotation from the Connection Collection

You are viewing a record from the Connection Collection, a searchable annotated bibliography database. It links you with research-based information that you can use to connect schools, families, and communities.

Title:Parents as classroom volunteers and kindergarten students' emergent reading skills
Author:DeCusati, C. L. P., & Johnson, J. E.
Resource Type:Journal Article
Journal of Educational Research, 97(5)

pp. 235-246
Education Level:Elementary
Literature type:Research and Evaluation

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effects of parent classroom volunteers on the reading skills of kindergarten students. The researchers used teacher action research to investigate the effects of working with parents in small groups on emergent reading skills. Children were randomly assigned to either a treatment group that received parent input or a comparison group that did not receive parent input. Analyses indicated that children who participated in a parent-enriched reading group showed significantly better word-but not letter-recognition on posttreatment measures than comparison group children. Results also showed that children reacted positively to parents' presence in the classroom. In addition, the current reading practices of the parents who volunteered were positively related to the extent to which they volunteered in their children's classroom. Students' emergent literacy skills were measured with pre- and posttreatment assessments. Children were interviewed by teachers to gauge their reactions to having their parents in the classroom. The participants in this study were 56 kindergarten students, who ranged in age from 5 to 6, and 18 of their parents. The majority of the participants were from middle- and lower middle-income families and the sample was ethnically homogenous. There was diversity in the educational and occupational backgrounds of the parent participants. The parents volunteered in the classroom for a period of five months from October to February. This study suggests that parents who volunteer in their children's classrooms can contribute significantly to children's learning. It is important to note that while random assignment of student participants to research groups helps to strengthen these results, the contribution of other variables needs to be examined to determine true causality.

Suggested Citation Style:

Free Webinar Series
The U.S. Department of Education and its partners invite you to view the archive for the webinar, Bringing it All Together: Family and Community Engagement Policies in Action, which took place on November 16, 2011.

This is the ninth and final webinar in the series, Achieving Excellence and Innovation in Family, School, and Community Engagement.