Investigating an Intervention Program Linking Writing and Vocabulary Development for Homeless Children

Richard Sinatra, Robert Eschenauer


The presented study investigated the effects of a four-week academic and activity – enriched summer program on vocabulary development and writing achievement of homeless children residing in traditional shelter facilities. When compared to controls the experimental students did not reveal gains in vocabulary and spelling as measured by two norm referenced tests. They did however demonstrate highly significant gains in writing ability based on the New York State standards criteria, reflecting five qualities of writing. On two project-developed instruments designed to measure improvement in book vocabulary and tennis skills, they showed significant increases based on analyses of their pre- and posttest scores. The program closed achievement gaps, fulfilled standards criteria, and may be the first of its kind in the homeless literature whereby students’ writing development was compared to matched controls as vocabulary development occurred based on literary readings.

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