Summertime reading achievement, literacy activities, and family literacy environments of children who have completed the first grade

Sharon Lonne Rollier, Fordham University


The purpose of this study was to examine the summertime reading achievement, the summertime literacy activities, and the summertime family literacy environments of children who had completed the first grade at varying levels of reading proficiency. The research was conducted in two parts. The population of the broad, quantitative study consisted of 83 children from five first grade classrooms in a middle-class, suburban New Jersey public school district. The children were tested with equivalent forms of the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Test before and after the summer vacation. Test change scores of the children, classified by their first-grade teachers as above-average, average, or below-average readers, were compared with parent responses on a Summertime Literacy Questionnaire. The second part of the investigation consisted of case studies of four above-average and four below-average readers and their families in the summer following the first grade. Significant reading achievement gains occurred during the summer following the first grade according to the changes in test scores. There were no statistically significant differences in the mean change scores among above-average, average, or below-average readers; yet both quantitative and case study data indicated that a higher proportion of children at the lower end of the below-average group regressed in reading. Case study findings indicated that above-average readers tended to out-perform below-average readers in the frequency, variety, and self-regulation and instigation of their summertime literacy activities. However, spring-fall reading test score changes were not demonstrably related to those aspects of children's summertime literacy activities. Neither questionnaire nor case study data indicated a clear, positive relationship between children's summertime reading achievement and any or all of the following: parents as literacy models, parents as providers of literacy materials and settings suitable for quiet reading and writing activities, and parents as providers of guidance and literacy-enriching experiences. Children's summertime reading achievement cannot be simply ascribed either to their summertime literacy activities or to their family literacy environments. Rather, highly individualized behaviors of children within their unique family literacy environments appear to influence reading achievement during the summer following the first grade.

Subject Area

Literacy|Reading instruction

Recommended Citation

Rollier, Sharon Lonne, "Summertime reading achievement, literacy activities, and family literacy environments of children who have completed the first grade" (1988). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8813583.