Research Horizons


These Reading Programs Support Kindergarten Readiness

Two early reading programs, when used in combination, improved kindergarten readiness among more than 3,200 children participating in a three-year study led by experts at Cincinnati Children’s.

Cincinnati Children’s worked with 23 local health clinics to conduct the study and tracked results by using the kindergarten readiness assessment (KRA), a standardized state test.

Those who participated in the reading program showed an increase of 15.4 percentage points between the 2016-2017 school year and the 2018-2019 school year while the school district average increased by only 3.8 percent during that time.

“I can’t stress enough to parents the importance of reading with your child, starting at birth,” Szumlas says. “Just a few minutes a day, reading aloud, and interacting with your child over books can make a huge difference in helping them prepare and be ready for kindergarten.”

The study’s senior author was Thomas DeWitt, MD. Co-authors included Tiana Rollinson Henry, MEd, a Community Engagement Specialist at Greater Cincinnati Reach Out and Read; and Monica Mitchell, PhD, Peter Petronio and Alisha Johnson–all members of the INNOVATIONS in Community Research team at Cincinnati Children’s.

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Publication Information
Original title: A Combined Reach Out and Read and Imagination Library Program on Kindergarten Readiness
Published in: Pediatrics
Publish date: June 2021
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Research By

Gregory Szumlas, MD, FAAP
Division of General and Community Pediatrics
My clinical and research interests include curriculum development, patient education, residency training, and literacy promotion.
Thomas DeWitt, MD, FAAP
Co-Director, Cincinnati Children's Pediatric Education Center
My research interests include Early literacy and reading and medical education.