Date of Award

7-24-2013

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)

Department

Professional Studies in Education

First Advisor

Valeri R. Helterbran, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

DeAnna M. Laverick, D.Ed.

Third Advisor

George R. Bieger, Ph.D.

Abstract

Throughout the United States, school districts are integrating programs into their reading curricula in response to an increased focus on reading achievement. While many school districts are implementing successful remedial and after-school programs, their approach does not include providing literacy instruction for students during summer vacation. Thus, during the summer months, learners with low reading achievement lose literacy skills gained throughout the school year. This mixed-methods study focused on identifying the motivational aspects that influence students' desire to read in a situational learning context present in a summer reading program. This study included 30 rising eighth-grade students with low reading achievement enrolled in the Ready to Read summer reading program and included 38 students with low reading achievement from the same junior high school and eligible to participate in the summer reading program, but chose not enroll in the program. The researcher utilized the Motivation to Read Profile (MRP) survey, MRP conversational interview, and participants' exit slips to collect data. The quantitative data collected from the MRP survey suggested that there was no significant difference in the reading motivation of students who participated in the summer reading program and learners who did not participate in the program. This result could be attributed to motivation and stigmatization issues that affected participation in the program. However, the quantitative results do not necessarily indicate that the program was unsuccessful. Still, there are several ways the Ready to Read program can be improved to further enhance students' reading achievement, cultivate motivation to read, and support literacy growth. The qualitative data gathered from the MRP conversational interview provided insights about the reading motivation of struggling readers and their general reading habits. Educators can use the suggestions and implications to develop classroom environments that foster reading achievement and motivate students to engage in literacy activities. The data collected from the exit slips illustrated that there are specific features of a summer reading program that students with low reading achievement find motivational to their independent reading habits. Teachers can use this understanding to successfully design and implement summer reading programs into their schools' literacy curriculum.

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