In the United States, a staggering number of young children in economic poverty — nearly 50% — cannot read with basic proficiency by fourth grade (NCES, 2021). For many children, these difficulties can be traced back to the very first years of life, when disparities in the quantity and quality of early learning experiences emerge along socioeconomic lines.
Our lab’s work aims to improve reading and school achievement in the earliest years of life by surrounding young children with potent, effective opportunities to build new skills. We focus on helping both educators and families, with an eye toward creating school-family partnerships individualized around what particular young children need to learn and how they learn best. We aim to design sustainable, feasible interventions to help children at risk get ready for, and be successful in, the first years of school.