Early Reading First as a Model for Improving Preschool Literacy Instruction and Outcomes

  • Barbara D. DeBarysheEmail author
  • Kathleen Tran Gauci
Part of the International Perspectives on Early Childhood Education and Development book series (CHILD, volume 17)


The Early Reading First program (ERF) was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education to develop model ‘preschool centers of excellence’ that enhance the early language and literacy skills of low-income preschool children. In this chapter we report on the outcomes of an ERF project conducted with Head Start classrooms in Hawaiʻi. The intervention included intensive professional development on research-based curriculum and instruction, teacher-child interaction, family engagement, and child progress monitoring. Outcomes included large gains on intentional literacy instruction, classroom quality, and family engagement, and moderate to large gains on child emergent literacy skills. The intervention had little effect on oral language outcomes. Despite the academic focus, most teachers were highly satisfied with the experience, reporting increased child motivation and considerable professional growth.


Phonological Awareness Head Start Oral Language Family Engagement Assistant Teacher 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This research was supported by Early Reading First Grant S359B090018 from the U. S. Department of Education, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education and by USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture Hatch project HAW03021-H managed by the University of Hawaiʻi College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources. The views expressed in this chapter were neither reviewed nor endorsed by the funding agencies. We extend our gratitude and aloha to the teachers, children, families, and staff of the Honolulu Community Action Program Head Start.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center on the FamilyUniversity of HawaiʻiHonoluluUSA
  2. 2.Department of Educational Pyschology1776 University AvenueHonoluluUSA

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