A summer literacy program for First Nations children

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University of New Brunswick


The purpose of the study was to design and pilot an English-language literacy program during the summer and assess its impact on First Nations children’s literacy scores. The study also investigated whether the program would eliminate summer learning loss (SLL) or lead to learning gains in children’s literacy scores. The two-week program focused on letter knowledge (LK) and phonological awareness (PA) skills for children entering Grade 1. Fourteen English-speaking First Nations children participated in this study and were assessed three times: preprogram, during the program, and postprogram. Hierarchical linear modelling and paired sample t tests were used to analyze the data. Results showed that children experienced SLL in LK scores. Children showed significant and positive growth in most skills over the course of the program. SLL was eliminated for some children, and the program led to learning gains for others. The preliminary findings call for future studies with a larger sample size and a longer programming period.