A study finds that text messages sent to the parents of preschoolers encouraging the parents to engage in literacy-boosting activities with their children has a positive impact on literacy skills.
Parents who enrolled received periodic text messages on their phones with basic activity suggestions for their children. For example, a message might have said: “Tip: Say two words to your child that start with the same sound, like happy and healthy. Ask: can you hear the ‘hhh’ sound in happy and healthy?”
The text message program was piloted among low-income families at 31 San Francisco schools during the 2013 – 2014 school year. It will be rolled out to 50,000 families in 16 states next year.
A study described in Education Next last month found that high school students in a large, urban district whose parents received text messages about how their children were doing in a summer school credit-recovery course, and in particular, messages about how their children could improve, were more likely to pass the course.
The researchers conclude, “These findings are the result of a very specific, inexpensive, and simple intervention that can be a potent strategy for improving outcomes for students at risk of delayed graduation or drop-out.”
– Education Next
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Harvard Kennedy School Program on Educational Policy and Governance
Thomas Fordham Institute - Advancing Educational Excellence and Education Reform