Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Not Applicable

Advisor Role

Not Applicable


The purpose of this project was to evaluate the influence of a summer intervention for children showing early signs of reading delay. The project evaluated two intervention components: a two week camp for children and two training workshops for parents. Data were collected for five groups of participants. Three groups participated in one or more intervention components: parent workshops only group, child camp only group, and both parent workshops and child camp group. All children who participated in the interventions were identified by teachers as having difficulty in phonological awareness and word reading skills at the end of senior kindergarten. Two additional groups served as comparisons. Children in the ‘low’ comparison group had early literacy skills similar to children in the intervention groups. The ‘average’ comparison group included children that were identified by teachers as normally achieving in early literacy. The intervention programs sought to improve children’s word reading ability by providing explicit instruction in phonological awareness and opportunities to practice other emergent literacy skills.

Children participated in pre- and post-test assessments measuring literacy skills and general cognitive skills. Children in all three intervention groups showed positive change following the intervention compared to a comparison group of children with similar initial abilities who did not receive any intervention. Children who received both intervention components showed the most positive change following a follow-up assessment at the end of grade one. The frequency of home literacy activities with parents was related to positive improvement in children’s phonological awareness and word reading skills. The quality of home literacy activities is also thought to be important. Results are presented in the context of the response-to-intervention framework for identifying children with reading disabilities.

Convocation Year