Program

Oct 31, 2008

 OVERVIEW

The Read to Achieve Summer Literacy Day Camp was designed to prevent summer reading loss among economically disadvantaged 1st graders.  In a random assignment study, students assigned to enroll in the camp were compared with students assigned to a control group.  Impacts were found for 5 of 6 outcome measures, with medium to large effect sizes (0.47 to 1.35).  Camp students scored 41% higher than control students on tests of reading comprehension immediately following the intervention.  Camp students also scored significantly higher than control students on these tests at the three- and nine-month follow-ups.  Camp students scored 33% higher than control students on tests of decoding abilities immediately following the intervention.  Camp students also scored significantly higher than control students on these tests at the three-month follow-up, but not at the nine-month follow-up.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target population: Economically disadvantaged students exiting 1st grade

The Read to Achieve Summer Literacy Day Camp ran five days a week, from 8 am to 5 pm, over the course of seven weeks during the summer of 2001.  Two hours of camp time each day were devoted to literacy activities and the remainder of each day was devoted to typical camp activities.  Camp was free and included lunch and snacks.

Camp literacy activities were led by experienced, credentialed elementary school teachers who taught decoding, comprehension, vocabulary, and writing skills using the Open Court curriculum.  Teachers worked with approximately 15 students and distributed class time as follows: 10 minutes of story-book reading time to the whole class, 15 minutes of phonics instruction for the whole class, 15 minutes of independent phonics work, 10 minutes of paired reading of decodable books, 40 minutes of small-group reading, and 30 minutes of writing activities.  Efforts were made to render reading activities exploratory and creative, so that children could experience reading instruction in a context that was different from school.

EVALUATION(S) OF PROGRAM

Schacter, J. & Jo, B.  (2005).  Learning when school is not in session: a reading summer day-camp intervention to improve the achievement of exiting First-Grade students who are economically disadvantaged.  Journal of Research in Reading, 28(2), 158-169.

Evaluated population: 162 children from low-income families served as the study sample for this investigation.  Children were drawn from three elementary schools in southern Los Angeles, California.  All students attending these schools were eligible for free or reduced lunch.  Children ranged in age from 6 to 7.  97 of the children were African American and 65 were Hispanic.

Approach: Children were randomly assigned to either the treatment group or the control group.  Of the 72 children assigned to the treatment group, 70 enrolled in the Read to Achieve Summer Literacy Day Camp.  Children assigned to the control group were not given the opportunity to enroll in the camp.

All subjects were pre-tested on their reading performance before the camp began.  At this time point, there were no significant differences in decoding abilities or comprehension abilities between treatment students and control students.  Students were tested again immediately following camp (in September) and three and nine months later.  By the nine-month follow-up, 35% of subjects were unavailable.

Results: Students assigned to the Read to Achieve Summer Literacy Day Camp scored significantly higher than students assigned to the control group on tests of reading comprehension at every follow-up.  Camp students were performing 41% better on comprehension tests immediately after the program, 39% better at the three-month follow-up, and 18% better at the nine-month follow-up.

Students assigned to the Literacy Camp scored significantly higher than students assigned to the control group on tests of decoding abilities at immediate post-test and at three-month follow-up.  Immediately following the program, camp students outperformed control students by 33% and, at the three-month follow-up, they had a 22% advantage.  By the nine-month follow-up, however, there was no longer a significant difference between the scores of camp students and the scores of control students on tests of decoding abilities.

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

Open Court curriculum materials available for purchase at:

https://www.sraonline.com/

References:

Schacter, J. & Jo, B. (2005). Learning when school is not in session: a reading summer day-camp intervention to improve the achievement of exiting First-Grade students who are economically disadvantaged.  Journal of Research in Reading, 28(2), 158-169.

Program categorized in this guide according to the following:

Evaluated participant ages: 6-7

Evaluated participant grades: exiting 1st

Program age ranges in the guide: Middle Childhood

Program components: Miscellaneous

Measured outcomes: Education & Cognitive Development

Keywords: Middle Childhood (6-11), Children, Elementary, Summer Program, Education, Reading, Academic Achievement, Cognitive Development, Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino.

Program information last updated on 10/31/08