Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education


Gabriela Mendez

Committee Member

Mel Coleman


emergent literacy, family literacy, parent engagement, parent involvement, reading achievement


The purpose of this study was to systematically review research on the relationship between parent engagement and student reading outcomes in Title I schools at Kindergarten level. The following research questions guided this study:

  1. What is the relationship between parent engagement and student reading literacy outcomes in low socioeconomic students in kindergarten? Findings show that parent engagement brings parents together with the school staff working with one another to promote a child’s reading literacy. Parent engagement includes the parent as an active member who shares responsibility for a child’s achievement. A need for teacher professional development for teachers on building communication and relationships with parents is critical. Parents, in school reading programs, learn basic literacy skills so they can use them at home to support their child while both parent and child become active learners to support reading literacy. The point of parent engagement is to make sure that each parent knows how to play a positive role that supports their child’s reading literacy both at home and at school.

  2. What strategies are effective to increase low socioeconomic parent engagement that impacts reading literacy outcomes for children in kindergarten? Common successful strategies in the analyzed studies were to supply appropriate reading supplies for parents to use at home with their children to build active engagement with books at home. Another strategy was the creation of a Family Resource Center and having a family liaison in school, helped low-income (i.e., low socioeconomic) parents get in touch with needed resources to support reading literacy for their child at home. Parent engagement practices encourage parents through literacy games, activities, and learning reading classes to improve their skills increased parent communication and understanding of how to help their child at home. Other strategies were using technology to communicate with parents and clarifying the importance of preventing absenteeism with their child on a daily basis. Additional successful strategies were the emphasis on early childhood interventions at school and at home and professional development for teacher on parent engagement.