Afterschool reading programs help students make reading gains, new study says

Children attending afterschool reading programs were more likely to achieve early reading proficiency, according to a new study commissioned by Reading Roadmap.

The study analyzed 9,000 elementary students across 58 different schools over the 2017-18 academic year. Using school-administered reading assessments, the study compared progress toward reading benchmark among elementary-age children that attended school-based afterschool programs with those who did not.

The study found children attending afterschool reading interventions were 26 percent more likely to reach benchmark than their non-attending peers. According to the study’s author, Mustafa Yilmaz, “The effect of the relationship was equivalent to a 1.7 percent greater chance of achieving benchmark reading for every day a child attended afterschool. That is quite significant.”

“When a child enters kindergarten, it’s a four-year race for her to learn how to read,” said Andrew Hysell, director of Reading Roadmap. “If she cannot achieve early reading proficiency by the third grade, she will face barriers for the rest of her life.”

Reading Roadmap provides a structured afterschool reading program supporting children pre-kindergarten-third grade. The model aligns with school-tiered systems of support and provides reading interventions in phenome awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension.

Kansas Reading Roadmap serves about 5,500 students in 60 sites across the state, partnering with school districts and non-profits to increase early reading proficiency through afterschool and family engagement programs.

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