Investigating academic performance between Hispanic pre-kindergarten students enrolled and not enrolled in a structured literacy program in selected elementary schools



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The purpose of this study was to examine the impact on the academic performance of Hispanic pre-kindergarten students after participating in a three year structured literacy program compared to the academic performance of Hispanic prekindergarten students not in a structured literacy program in selected elementary schools in the Laredo Independent School District in Texas. This study?s objective was to determine if participation in a structured literacy program is beneficial. This study will provide information and direction for district educators and school leaders contemplating the benefits of a three year old pre-kindergarten program at all district campuses. The researcher?s hypothesis that young Hispanic children, given the opportunity to attend a three year old structured literacy program, will acquire literacy skills and perform academically above what is normally is expected for this age group, is supported by literature and studies reviewed. Key to the purpose of this study is the understanding that as children grow and develop in today?s competitive society, literacy is important because it provides a foundation for life-long learning. For that reason it becomes necessary to educate all children at an early age. Given that in today?s volatile educational system, a comprehensive early childhood program has not been adopted much less one that focuses on pre-literacy and literacy skills; it is vital to examine the possible benefits. Currently, school districts and private institutions allow children to enter a kindergarten at different levels of literacy development and reading readiness; this is even truer for today?s divergent and burgeoning Hispanic population. Based on research, students tend to fare better, both short-term and long-term when allowed to enter an early educational setting. While no specific program is identified as key to this success, it only stands to reason that one that is structured and that has a well defined curriculum would fare better. Conclusions from this study provide data reflecting a need to provide an early pre-literacy program, improvement of teacher training, and greater parental involvement. It is this researcher?s contention that schools benefit from further research regarding the implementation of like programs in other geographic regions and with other participants.