Targeted Reading Intervention
Blueprints Program Rating: Promising
A classroom-based intervention intended to improve reading skills for kindergarten and first graders through individualized instruction.
- Academic Performance
- Preschool Communication/Language Development
- Academic Services
- School - Individual Strategies
- Teacher Training
Continuum of Intervention
- Indicated Prevention (Early Symptoms of Problem)
- Late Childhood (5-11) - K/Elementary
- Male and Female
- All Race/Ethnicity
- : Promising
Program Information Contact
- Dr. Lynn Vernon-Feagans
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Brief Description of the Program
Targeted Reading Intervention has the classroom teacher – rather than a specialized tutor or educator – deliver individualized instruction to struggling readers in regular kindergarten and first-grade classrooms. The instruction takes the form of 15-minute one-on-one instructional sessions in the regular classroom until the child makes rapid progress, and the teacher can go on to instruct another struggling reader. Teachers use a variety of word and comprehension strategies to improve reading and emphasize both identification of letter sounds in words and comprehension of words in text. The program intends primarily to help struggling readers, particularly those in rural, low-wealth communities where teachers have limited access to professional development and students have little access to intervention services. Along with helping struggling readers, the program aims to provide effective professional development for teachers, with the intention to benefit all students in the classroom.
See: Full Description
Amendum et al. (2011)
- Struggling readers in the experimental schools had higher posttest scores than struggling readers in the control schools on all four Woodcock Johnson reading measures: Word Attack, Word-Letter Identification, Passage Comprehension, and Spelling of Sounds.
- Both struggling and non-struggling readers in the experimental schools had higher posttest scores than struggling and non-struggling readers in the control schools on three of the four reading measures: Word Attack, Word-Letter Identification, and Passage Comprehension.
Vernon-Feagans et al. (2009, 2010)
- Both struggling and non-struggling readers in the experimental schools had higher posttest scores than struggling and non-struggling readers in the control schools on all four Woodcock Johnson reading measures: Word Attack, Word-Letter Identification, Passage Comprehension, and Spelling of Sounds.
- In some cases, struggling readers improved enough to catch-up with their non-struggling peers.
Vernon-Feagans et al. (2018)
As compared to control students, students in the treatment classrooms showed significant improvements in:
- Letter-word identification
- Word attack
- Spelling of sounds
- Passage comprehension
The treatment proved similarly effective for demographic subgroups.
Risk and Protective Factors
- School: Poor academic performance
- School: Instructional Practice, Opportunities for prosocial involvement in education
Training and Technical Assistance
For information see Targeted Reading Training
Brief Evaluation Methodology
Most studies of Targeted Reading Intervention randomly assigned a small number of schools (from 4 to 16) to an experimental condition implementing the reading program and a control condition teaching reading as usual. The schools came from rural disadvantaged areas of the southeastern and southwestern United States. Within each kindergarten and first-grade classroom in the experimental and control schools, five struggling readers and five non-struggling readers were selected. These students were assessed in the fall at the beginning of the school year and in the spring near the end of the school year. Analyses compared experimental and control schools on measures of reading outcomes in the spring for both struggling and non-struggling readers.
In Study 5 (Vernon-Feagans et al., 2018), assignment was conducted at the classroom level. The authors randomized 100 classrooms in 10 schools. Within each classroom, students found to be at risk of struggling with reading during beginning-of-year screenings were included in the sample (N = 556). Results for measures of literacy skills were compared for the treatment and control groups after one school year of implementation.
Peer Implementation Sites
Bearfield Primary School
145 Herford County High School Road
Ahoskie, NC 27910
Contact: Principal Julie Shields
Amendum, S. J., Vernon-Feagans, L. V., & Ginsberg, M. C. (2011). The effectiveness of a technologically facilitated classroom-based early reading intervention. The Elementary School Journal, 112(1), 107-131.
Vernon-Feagans, L., Amendum, S., Kainz, K., Ginsberg, M., Wood, T., & Bock, A. (2009). The Targeted Reading Intervention (TRI): A classroom teacher tier 2 intervention to help struggling readers in early elementary school. In Evidence for Interventions for Struggling Readers. Symposium conducted at the annual meeting of the Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness, Washington, D.C.
Vernon-Feagans, L., Kainz, K., Hedrick, A., Ginsberg, M., & Amendum, S. (in press). The Targeted Reading Intervention: A classroom teacher professional development program to promote effective teaching for struggling readers in kindergarten and first grade. The Journal of Educational Psychology.