The effects of a prekindergarten/Head Start intervention program on reading readiness of at-risk four-year-olds

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

First Committee Member

John Kleinert, Committee Chair


Purpose. The purpose of this study was to investigate the differences in reading readiness between children who participated in the Lee County, Florida Prekindergarten/Head Start Program and those with no formal preschool experience.Hypotheses. Two hypotheses were tested regarding the effects of program participation on selected measures of reading readiness and expressive and receptive language. (1) There will be no significant difference found on a selected measure of reading readiness (Ready Steps) relationship between participation in Prekindergarten/Head Start and those with no formal preschool experience. (2) There will be no significant differences found on a selected measure of expressive and receptive language (DIAL-R) and those with no formal preschool experience.A secondary purpose of the study was to determine the attitudes of the Prekindergarten/Head Start teachers towards the Prekindergarten/Head Start Program in the area of reading readiness.Procedures. Using a Posttest-Only Control Group Design fifty-two children were randomly selected from the participating Prekindergarten/Head Start population to serve as the experimental group for a period of sixteen weeks. The control group was comprised of thirty-one students without any formal preschool experience.All ten Prekindergarten/Head Start teachers were surveyed to determine their attitudes toward the program, specifically in the areas of reading and language development. Questions focused on inservice training, materials, and parental involvement.Findings. The student mean scores between the control and experimental groups on Ready Steps did not show a statistically significant difference on this measure of reading readiness. Nor, was there a statistically significant difference in the areas of receptive and expressive language (Dial-R) between the two groups. The teachers expressed overall satisfaction with the Prekindergarten/Head Start Program in regard to the current reading and language curriculum and teacher inservice, but expressed the need for further inservice training for aides.


Education, Early Childhood; Education, Reading; Education, Curriculum and Instruction

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