ERIC Number: ED345222
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Reaching Out to Help Low Income Parents Foster Their Young Children's Literacy Development.
A study examined the effectiveness of the West Heidelberg (Australia) Early Literacy Project (WHELP), which helps low income and working class parents develop the literacy skills of their 4-year-old children by, among other things, reading regularly to them. The project developed through three phases with three different methods of delivering books to families: 1987-1988 via home visits; 1989 via pre-schools; and 1990-1991 via pre-school teachers. The bulk of the 60 families involved in the first phase were classified as "supportive-unsophisticated." They were interested in their children's education and keen to help out but lacked knowledge and confidence in how to help their children. While the 1987-1988 program was judged to be highly successful, the home visit strategy was very costly. In the second phase, project staff visited pre-schools and read with the children, who then took books home. The third phase was implemented by pre-school teachers using books supplied by the project. Follow-up studies of all phases were undertaken. Data included tests of literacy competence, family interviews, family interview environment, the child's interest in literacy, ethnicity, and initial knowledge/awareness. Results indicated that: (1) the project had some success in involving parents from a disadvantaged locality in reading with their 4-year-old children during all three phases; (2) working through the child's enthusiasm was an effective strategy; and (3) the project was successful in affecting children's emergent literacy learning. (Seven tables of data are included; 31 references and a description of project strategies are attached.) (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (73rd, San Francisco, CA, April 20-24, 1992).