Theoretical Models and Processes of Reading
Can Minimally Trained College Student Volunteers Help Young At-Risk Children to Read Better?
The study addressed at-risk first and second grade students' reading growth as they were tutored by minimally trained college students. The college students were volunteer work-study students participating in the recent national America Reads initiative. In all, 144 children received some amount of tutoring. Thirty-nine tutors used a four-part instructional lesson with the children. For main analyses, 64 children who received the full complement of tutoring sessions were compared to 19 who received fewer sessions. The main conclusions were: (a) Comparisons using a within-program control group showed that, on average, children made statistically significant gains in instructional reading level that could be attributed to the tutoring. The average gain for children receiving the full term of tutoring was 1.19 grade levels during six months of tutoring. (b) The greatest impact of tutoring was in affecting children's ability to read words. Among the children who received the full term of tutoring, most of their instructional reading level growth occurred during the second half of the program. (c) Patterns of growth in instructional reading level were different for low- and high-gains groups of children.
[This chapter is reprinted from Reading Research Quarterly, 36(1), 28–46. http://dx.doi.org/10.1598/RRQ.36.1.2]
Fitzgerald, J. (2004).
Can Minimally Trained College Student Volunteers Help Young At-Risk Children to Read Better?.
In R.B. Ruddell, & N.J. Unrau (Eds.), Theoretical Models and Processes of Reading (pp. 1083-1115). Newark, DE: International Reading Association.