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Diane McGrady, Afra A. Hersi, Ph.D.

Bedtime Reading IS NOT Enough: Literacy Strategies for Families of Struggling Readers Practical Action Research (Mills, 2011) and Case-study (Stake, 2000)

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The study examines the impact of Fast Start, a modified reading intervention program for parents of struggling elementary school age children. The intervention program was implemented over nine weeks and involved training parents to use specific reading strategies (e.g. repeated and pair reading, comprehension strategies) while utilizing high-interest and authentic texts.  Drawing on qualitative action research design, the study investigates the following research question: How did parental implementation of the modified reading intervention program Fast Start impact reading fluency and improve comprehension?  Six parents and six children in grades 2-4 were recruited to receive training in the program and the materials for implementing the fluency and comprehension strategies.  Data collected included observations, parent surveys, post student surveys, pre and post assessment of fluency and comprehension, and artifacts (parent logs, student work samples, etc).  Data analysis involved multiple steps and triangulation across data sources using constant comparison and careful coding.  Pre-post assessments data was analyzed to determine growth in fluency and comprehension.  Surveys, interviews, and observations were examined to identify parents’ beliefs and attitudes towards literacy, perceptions about their child’s strengths and needs, and their experiences with the program (challenges, benefits, etc.)  While coding the information, four main themes emerged from my results: growth and confidence in fluency skills, gains in comprehension, beneficial outcomes of program for parents, and finally, changes in home literacy practices.

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