Reading Development

Risk Factors for Reading Problems

Get the facts on risk factors for reading problems to help put all kids on the path to reading success, right from the start.

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Consistently Strong, Documented Results

Each year, our research has shown that the Nemours BrightStart! The Complete Program for Early Literacy Success significantly improves the early literacy skills of at-risk prekindergarteners.

Based upon our longitudinal studies, we also have evidence that most of those at-risk children make good progress with reading in kindergarten through third grade.

These child outcomes indicate that Nemours BrightStart! instruction has a remarkable benefit for nearly all participants.

The graphs below show two critical points:
  • How far behind the at-risk children are in their early literacy skills at the beginning of prekindergarten (fall pre-test average scores).
  • How much they close the gap and catch up after receiving the Nemours BrightStart! targeted instruction (spring post-test average scores). 

The Nemours BrightStart! The Complete Program for Early Literacy Success technical manual summarizes outcomes for several years of cluster randomized studies.
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A Case Study: Getting Children Ready to Read

Nemours BrightStart! program helps close reading readiness gap in Florida’s Duval County Public Schools.

Now in its fifth year, the Nemours BrightStart! partnership with Florida’s Duval County Public School District continues to improve the reading readiness scores of pre-K students at risk for reading failure.

During the 2012-2013 school year, nearly 200 kids participated in the Nemours BrightStart! small-group enrichment program. By the end of the year, kids participating in the program saw a 125 percent gain in reading readiness scores, compared to a 32 percent gain by their peers who did not receive the intervention. The intervention helped to close the reading readiness performance gap noted in the beginning of the school year.

The eight-month intervention consisted of scripted, evidence-based, multisensory instruction provided by classroom teachers to promote skills like phonological awareness and alphabet knowledge that set the foundation for reading. The program aims to engage diverse learners as the interactive curriculum stimulates participants to use all of their senses in the learning experience. It also uses a unique approach to target children before they enter kindergarten, as research shows students who have strong reading readiness skills excel in reading when they enter K-12 school systems.

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Closing the Achievement Gap

Identifying and Intervening Early with Pre-K Children to Ensure Reading Success

Reading readiness improves dramatically for at-risk children after Nemours BrightStart! instruction.

2005-2010 School Years

The at-risk group included children who scored below average on the fall screening and later received Nemours BrightStart! intervention prior to being screened toward the end of their prekindergarten year.

2010-2011 School Year

These results have been replicated in every year that Nemours BrightStart! has been in operation, signifying the “real world” impact we are having on thousands of children.

In 2010, the Get Ready to Read screening tool was revised (GRTR-R) to include five additional questions. This revision also allowed for the calculation of a standard score. The standard scale provides an opportunity to determine how a child scores in relation to a large group of same-age children on which the test was developed (beyond that of the non-intervention peer sample).

The range of average scores is 90-110. Children receiving Nemours BrightStart! instruction in 2010-2011 moved their standard scores from the below-average range in the fall (81.5) of their prekindergarten year to well into the average range by spring (96.6), shown in the figure above.