"Shared Reading" Helps Pre-schoolers Reading Skills

By: Lindsay Puccio
By: Lindsay Puccio

May 27, 2005

"Pediatricians, teachers, and librarians recommend reading a book with a child everyday. What we don't know is how different types of reading experiences impact kids," says Laura Justice.

Justice, an assistant professor at UVa will soon find out. The Department of Education granted the University of Virginia and the University of Toledo $2.5 million to test what they call 'print focused reading' on pre-school age children attending need based programs.

"It's everything from looking at the title of the book to knowing the direction that you read. Have them point out letters, that type of task," said Lori Skibbe, a Doctoral Candidate helping with the study.

Teachers will use this technique throughout the academic year. They will track these 45 kids from Albemarle, Culpeper and Wise counties for 2 more years to see if their developmental and social skills improve more than normal.

"I think regular sustained shared book reading in the classroom is going to help and we'll be able to see how different styles of reading impacts their development in different areas," said Justice.

Evidence has shown that children in rural areas, for instance in Virginia, learn differently than children from urban areas, such as towns in Ohio. They are hoping the results of this study will be able to help children, no matter where they are from, develop successfully.

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