Event Title

HOME LITERACY, SUMMER SCHOOL, AND KINDERGARTEN READINESS AMONG BILINGUAL PRESCHOOLERS IN LOW-INCOME FAMILIES

Location

Morris Auditorium

Start Date

14-2-2014 12:00 AM

Description

Objective. Summer is a notorious time for decreases in school readiness, especially among younger children. The purpose of this research is to better understand the impact of summer school and home literacy among children attending voluntary preschool (VPK) in an urban area of South Florida. Background. Low-income children can excel in a nourishing preschool environment that sets the stage for childhood, adolescence, and adult literacy success. Preschool experiences may be able to counter known predictors of risk, such as poverty and circumstances of stress associated with home and food insecurity, (Fritters, Barron, & Brunello, 2000; Ransdell, 2011). Parents can also provide their children with summer school experiences and home literacy materials provided by the school for summer practice. Methods. Of 25 five-year old VPK children, 11 girls and 9 boys, 12 participated in the study by parents' home literacy self-reports provided after informed consent. Eleven children spoke no English upon entering preschool, seven spoke some English, and two were native speakers. All children but the two native speakers and one Spanish speaker are Haitian-American. All live in an area of higher than average poverty. The primary home language of the Haitian-American children is Haitian Kreyol, a dialect of French. All children were assessed on four measures of kindergarten readiness, print knowledge, phonological awareness, math, and vocabulary at four intervals over the school year by assessments of the Florida Department of Education, as do all children in the federal VPK program. All children were given home literacy bags with books and other materials to work on over the summer. Parents returned a Summer Feedback on Home Literacy questionnaire in order to assess the extent to which they provided home literacy opportunities related to the study materials. All children in the VPK class attended regular classes over an 180 day standard school year. During that year, four one-on-one assessments of print knowledge, phonological awareness, math, and vocabulary were collected as part of regular DOE VPK assessment. Half of all children attended summer school based on parent election. Results. A stepwise regression shows that 57% of the variance in self-reported home literacy (HL) is accounted for by summer school attendance and second language experience, R = .81, t (19) = 8.89, p < .05. The lack of summer school attendance appears to be a factor parents compensate for by providing more HL, especially for those children with less native English experience. HL is significantly higher for children who do not attend summer school, t (19) = -3.97, p < .05, and who have less native English experience, t (19) = 2.60, p < .05 and both are unique predictors. Despite higher HL reported in children who did not attend summer school, these children showed a significant decline in receptive vocabulary measured at time 4 in midsummer. Conclusion. Despite the fact that parents seemed to compensate for not sending their children to summer school by increasing home literacy activities, those children who attended summer school did better, especially in receptive vocabulary. Grants. none

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Feb 14th, 12:00 AM

HOME LITERACY, SUMMER SCHOOL, AND KINDERGARTEN READINESS AMONG BILINGUAL PRESCHOOLERS IN LOW-INCOME FAMILIES

Morris Auditorium

Objective. Summer is a notorious time for decreases in school readiness, especially among younger children. The purpose of this research is to better understand the impact of summer school and home literacy among children attending voluntary preschool (VPK) in an urban area of South Florida. Background. Low-income children can excel in a nourishing preschool environment that sets the stage for childhood, adolescence, and adult literacy success. Preschool experiences may be able to counter known predictors of risk, such as poverty and circumstances of stress associated with home and food insecurity, (Fritters, Barron, & Brunello, 2000; Ransdell, 2011). Parents can also provide their children with summer school experiences and home literacy materials provided by the school for summer practice. Methods. Of 25 five-year old VPK children, 11 girls and 9 boys, 12 participated in the study by parents' home literacy self-reports provided after informed consent. Eleven children spoke no English upon entering preschool, seven spoke some English, and two were native speakers. All children but the two native speakers and one Spanish speaker are Haitian-American. All live in an area of higher than average poverty. The primary home language of the Haitian-American children is Haitian Kreyol, a dialect of French. All children were assessed on four measures of kindergarten readiness, print knowledge, phonological awareness, math, and vocabulary at four intervals over the school year by assessments of the Florida Department of Education, as do all children in the federal VPK program. All children were given home literacy bags with books and other materials to work on over the summer. Parents returned a Summer Feedback on Home Literacy questionnaire in order to assess the extent to which they provided home literacy opportunities related to the study materials. All children in the VPK class attended regular classes over an 180 day standard school year. During that year, four one-on-one assessments of print knowledge, phonological awareness, math, and vocabulary were collected as part of regular DOE VPK assessment. Half of all children attended summer school based on parent election. Results. A stepwise regression shows that 57% of the variance in self-reported home literacy (HL) is accounted for by summer school attendance and second language experience, R = .81, t (19) = 8.89, p < .05. The lack of summer school attendance appears to be a factor parents compensate for by providing more HL, especially for those children with less native English experience. HL is significantly higher for children who do not attend summer school, t (19) = -3.97, p < .05, and who have less native English experience, t (19) = 2.60, p < .05 and both are unique predictors. Despite higher HL reported in children who did not attend summer school, these children showed a significant decline in receptive vocabulary measured at time 4 in midsummer. Conclusion. Despite the fact that parents seemed to compensate for not sending their children to summer school by increasing home literacy activities, those children who attended summer school did better, especially in receptive vocabulary. Grants. none