Student Composition in United Way of Lane County’s Promise Neighborhoods and the Benefits of Reading Readiness


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In this paper, we measure statistical relationships between characteristics of
incoming kindergartners and initial literacy scores. Our analysis includes eight
elementary schools, four of which are Promise Neighborhood schools in Lane
County: Two Rivers-Dos Rios Elementary (formerly Brattain) and Maple
Elementary in the Springfield School District plus Fairfield Elementary and
Malabon Elementary from the Bethel School District. Our control group includes
comparable schools that are not part of the Promise Neighborhoods in each
district. Using scores from the literacy benchmark tests each incoming student
takes upon entering kindergarten–controlling for certain variables–we find
characteristics with the largest coefficients, making them most likely to have a
relationship that influences literacy scores. This provides useful information for
program planning and spending in the Promise Neighborhoods. Using the
statistical relationships discovered in our analysis, and some we felt would be
useful for study if available, we suggest variables on which to collect data for
future assessments. This data will be collected through a questionnaire given out
with kindergarten registration packets. We also include a literature review
focusing on the importance of children entering school prepared to learn. The
emphasis in these studies is on both literacy skills and social-emotional
development prior to kindergarten, as well as the benefits associated with early
childhood development program investment.

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Joe Stone

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