One step at a time: The effects of an early literacy text messaging program for parents of preschoolers

(York & Loeb, 2014)

By the age of four, economically disadvantaged children hear about 30 million fewer words than their more advantaged peers. Such disparities are troubling given the strong links between children’s early experiences at home and their development of motor, social, emotional, literacy, and numeracy skills. In this study, we evaluate the effectiveness of a home literacy-focused text messaging program for parents of preschoolers designed to break down the complexity of supportive parenting. We find that the program had positive effects on parental involvement at home and in school, which translated into two to three months of child literacy gains.

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