Winter 2022

ESRP 9000 Professor

Don Hall

ESRP 9001 Professor

David B. Ross

Executive Summary

Current reading difficulties are primarily the result of rising literacy demands rather than declining absolute literacy levels. Today, in a technological world, the need for more literacy is always growing, and the consequences for those who don't keep up are getting worse. The home environment of a child is one of the most important contributors to their social and cultural background, as it naturally influences their educational experiences and attitudes toward learning. Language development and literacy, similarly, are deeply embedded in social, cultural, and historical experiences. Thus, introducing literacy into home environments at an early age can strengthen families and children.

While researchers and educators believe that fostering solid home literacy environments is important for families as a whole and children as learners, many family literacy programs fail to close the gap between home and school because they do not focus on the level of parental engagement in early literacy activities, parental background, and experiences, or opportunities available in the home environment. This project demonstrates how parental-established home literacy experiences influence early literacy acquisition. To address this problem, this project advocates for personalized early intervention based on the cultural and linguistic backgrounds of families, students, and infants. The goal of this project is to use research-based early intervention in literacy practices to help mentor parents learn how to set up a home literacy environment that improves attitudes about literacy, language development, and relationships.

This strategic research project is designed to improve literacy as a solution among children from age zero to eight. This study provided explicit instruction, strategies, and high-value training to facilitate parents' skills for improving children's learning, communication, play, and behavior skills before attending school. This program offers informal and formal support to build on strengths and reduce stressors so families can engage with their children in mutually enjoyable interactions and activities. This strategic research project includes four steps with four training followed by a unit for each step that contains the five pillars of literacy: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. Four home visits and one observation survey were conducted to evaluate the program.

One recommendation is to implement programs that train and educate parents to understand their responsibilities towards their child’s academic achievement. Another recommendation is to create more opportunities for parents with infants to have basic literacy skills before entering kindergarten to close the gaps children have in the early grades. Future research may put more emphasis on how to better train parents who have a literacy deficiency to become proficient in literacy to enhance their children’s success.

Document Type

Strategic Research Project-NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education