Use of Storybook Reading to Increase Print Awareness in At-Risk Children This study evaluated the impact of participation in book-reading sessions with a print focus on print awareness in preschool children from low- income households. A book-reading intervention was conducted for 30 children enrolled in Head Start. Children were matched on chronological age and then randomly placed into an experimental or ... Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 2002
Use of Storybook Reading to Increase Print Awareness in At-Risk Children
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Laura M. Justice, PhD
    University of Virginia, Charlottesville
  • Helen K. Ezell
    Pittsburgh, PA
  • Contact author: Laura Justice, PhD, University of Virginia, Communication Disorders Program, 2205 Fontaine Avenue, Suite 202, PO Box 800781, Charlottesville, VA 22908-0781. E-mail: lmj2t@virginia.edu
  • 1 Both authors were affiliated with Ohio University during data collection activities.
    Both authors were affiliated with Ohio University during data collection activities.×
Article Information
Development / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 01, 2002
Use of Storybook Reading to Increase Print Awareness in At-Risk Children
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 2002, Vol. 11, 17-29. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2002/003)
History: Received November 6, 2000 , Accepted April 5, 2001
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 2002, Vol. 11, 17-29. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2002/003)
History: Received November 6, 2000; Accepted April 5, 2001
Web of Science® Times Cited: 99

This study evaluated the impact of participation in book-reading sessions with a print focus on print awareness in preschool children from low- income households. A book-reading intervention was conducted for 30 children enrolled in Head Start. Children were matched on chronological age and then randomly placed into an experimental or control group. Pretest measures of children's print awareness were administered. Subsequently, children in both groups participated in 24 small-group reading sessions over an 8-week period. Children in the experimental group participated in shared reading sessions that included a print focus. As an alternate condition, control-group children participated in shared reading sessions with a picture focus. Posttesting indicated that children who participated in print- focus reading sessions outperformed their control- group peers on three measures of print awareness (Words in Print, Print Recognition, and Alphabet Knowledge) and in terms of overall performance. Clinical implications and future research directions are discussed.

Acknowledgments
Financial support for this project was provided by a John Houk Memorial Research Grant and by the School of Hearing and Speech Sciences at Ohio University. This work represents, in part, the doctoral dissertation of the first author, presented to the School of Hearing and Speech Sciences at Ohio University. The second author served as dissertation director.
The authors would like to thank Sarah Biel and Jamie Schaumleffel, who served as research assistants on this project. Acknowledgments are also due to Richard Dean, Norman Garber, and Danny Moates, all of whom served as members of the first author's dissertation committee. A very special ‘thank you’ is due to Joyce Mathias and all the staff and children of The Plains Head Start, where project activities were conducted.
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