Rural Education Research in the United States

pp 181-199


Rural Language and Literacy Connections: An Integrated Approach to Supporting Low-Income Preschool Children’s Language and Literacy Development

  • Lisa L. KnocheAffiliated withNebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families and Schools, University of Nebraska–Lincoln Email author 
  • , Dawn L. DavisAffiliated withNebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families and Schools, University of Nebraska–Lincoln

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High-quality preschool programs that promote early literacy through oral language, phonological awareness, print and word awareness, and alphabet knowledge prepare children to be more successful in kindergarten and more effective readers. Additionally, interventions that connect home and school literacy environments and create literacy-rich home environments are associated with children’s positive academic outcomes. Integrated programming to support early literacy skills at home and school is important because children’s skill levels and readiness at the time they enter school are strongly related to later school success. Few early childhood programs effectively integrate supports across home and preschool settings. This chapter will describe Rural Language and Literacy Connections, an ecologically-based early language and literacy intervention for rural, low-income preschool children and their families that integrates preschool classroom instruction with family and environmental supports. The intervention includes the implementation of scientifically-based literacy curricula and as well as enriched literacy environments in rural preschools, child care settings, and children’s homes through the provision of supplemental literacy-based opportunities. Details of the intervention, including professional development supports for early childhood teachers, as well as language and literacy outcomes for children will be discussed.


Early childhood Language Literacy Preschool Family engagement Intervention Professional development Rural