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Closing the summer learning gap for vulnerable learners: an exploratory study of a summer literacy programme for kindergarten children at-risk for reading difficulties

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School summer vacation may create a significant gap in the learning cycle. Such a gap may be particularly detrimental for vulnerable children such as those with lower academic achievement due to learning and language disabilities, lower socio-economic environments or learning in a language other than their native language. The current exploratory study investigated the efficacy of a summer family literacy programme on the reading achievement of 14 four-year-old children completing their pre-kindergarten year. All participating children were identified by their classroom teacher and a subsequent reading assessment to be at-risk for reading difficulties. Children and one of their primary caregivers participated in a five-week summer literacy programme. The programme consisted of literacy-based activities for both children and caregivers. The results of the study indicated that children demonstrated significant gains in all aspects of literacy, thus reversing the summer learning loss expectancy.
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Keywords: emergent literacy; summer learning loss; vulnerable learners

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Child and Youth Studies, Brock University, Ontario, Canada 2: Speech Services Niagara, Niagara Peninsula Children's Centre, Ontario, Canada

Publication date: 2011-06-01

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