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Reading Instruction:  Program Dosage Levels and Volunteers 
"Turning the Page: Refocusing Massachusetts for Reading Success"

“Volunteers with little to no training are unlikely to help a child improve his or her reading comprehension or reading confidence — skills that may be more effectively taught by professional educators,” Early Ed Watch states. “Understanding the limitations of tutoring can help programs focus on better preparing volunteers.”

The findings complement the conclusions of “Turning the Page: Refocusing Massachusetts for Reading Success,” the report that Strategies for Children commissioned in 2010 from Nonie Lesaux, Ph.D., of the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

“Reaching the tipping point for changing behaviors so as to improve children’s reading outcomes requires a deep, sustained investment of time and effort. Yet the dosage levels, intensity and depth of services, matter—such as how much time is spent in the program, how often it happens, or the frequency of contact with participants.” Lesaux writes. “For many language and reading supports, these increments are too small; consider the weekly tutoring session or the periodic parent education night that never gains enough traction to influence behaviors and, in turn, make a difference to reading outcomes.”

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