The effect of preschool on reading achievement among kindergarten students

Reisha Monique McKinney, University of Southern Mississippi

Abstract

As early childhood education continues to move to the forefront of public policy debate, more attention is being paid to early literacy. Strickland and Riley-Ayers (2006) indicated that early literacy and early learning opportunities play a vital role in academic achievement. This study invested whether there were statistically significant relationships between preschool attendance based on the reading and language arts scores from the Georgia Kindergarten Inventory Developing Skills test. The study also determined if there were differences in the reading and language arts for those who attended preschool and those who did not based on free/reduced and full paid lunch. The study was conducted over 9 months, initiating the efforts of 206 kindergarten students and 17 teachers. An examination of teachers' responses using teacher demographic data sheet, school lunch status, pre-kindergarten status, gender, and ethnicity for each of the four elementary schools. One way-repeated measures ANOVA and three-way mixed model ANOVA with time as a repeated measures variable, pre-k status and free lunch status as between groups variables, was computed to follow up on the significant chi-square result. This study revealed through one-way ANOVA repeated measures that lunch status had a statistically significant effect on a kindergarten achievement. This study also revealed through two-way chi-square analyses whether the unexpected differences between students who did and did not attend pre-k (with students not attending pre-k scoring higher on many of the time 1 test components) and determined pre-k attendees differed from non pre-k attendees on free lunch status (a common proxy for SES). From these analyses, it is concluded that pre-kindergarten had a significance on pre-kindergarten and lunch status. Yet, the analyses did not reveal a significant effect on kindergarten achievement.