THE KINDERGARTEN BUDDY PROGRAM AND ITS EFFECT ON READING ACHIEVEMENT FOR AT-RISK KINDERGARTEN STUDENTS

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Cosentino, Patricia
Issue Date
2008-05-01T00:00:00-07:00
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Degree Name
Doctor of Education (EdD)
Academic Department
Education & Educational Psychology
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Abstract
<p>Research states that more time and attention is needed for some students to acquire the necessary skills which allow them to become successful learners. Full-day kindergarten programs are desirable to ensure that all students have the necessary time to be successful. Due to lack of funds many school districts are unable to offer full-day kindergarten programs. The Kindergarten Buddy Program is a viable alternative for school systems seeking ways to provide opportunities for students who require extra support. The effectiveness of providing additional instruction in phonological awareness for at-risk learners needs to be explored to determine its impact on reading achievement. This information will be beneficial to school districts as they struggle to meet the needs of at-risk students in a fiscally responsible manner.</p> <p>The purpose of this study was to determine if additional instruction in phonological awareness, the Kindergarten Buddy Program, had an effect on reading achievement for at-risk kindergarten students. Students’ reading achievement was analyzed to see if participation in the Kindergarten Buddy Program enabled them to reach grade level expectations. Using a convenience sample (N = 92), scores on the Gates MacGinitie Reading Test and the Kindergarten Inventory of Skills in the half-day extended Kindergarten Buddy Program were compared to students scores in half-day kindergarten without an extended program and in a ii full-day kindergarten without an extended program. An ANOVA was conducted to determine if there were differences in the post-test scores of the different groups. Differences over time were also analyzed using a repeated measures ANOVA to determine if there was a significant difference in the means of the scores of the three groups as measured by the Inventory of Skills.</p> <p>The study revealed that half-day Buddy students scored significantly higher than half-day kindergarten students on the letter and letter/sound subscores on the Gates MacGinitie. Scores comparing the Buddy Program to a full-day program were similar as were the half-day kindergarten and full-day programs. This suggested the Kindergarten Buddy Program made significant strides in improving letter and letter/sound abilities of the at-risk students and therefore, it was as effective as the full-day program in assisting at-risk students in reaching grade level expectations.</p>
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