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Evaluating the Efficacy of the "Parents Activate Literacy Skills (PALS)" Program

Grant Winners

  • Sarah Valley-Gray, Psy.D. – Center for Psychological Studies
  • Ralph Cash, Ph.D. – Center for Psychological Studies
  • Nurit Sheinberg, Ed.D. – Mailman Segal Center for Human Development
  • Debbie Kay, M.A. – Mailman Segal Center for Human Development
  • Wilma Robles-Melendez, Ph.D. – Abraham S. Fischler School of Education
  • Amii Corbisiero, Student - M.S.
  • Colleen Cullen, Student - M.S.
  • Erin Grubbs, Student - B.S.
  • Eva Benmeleh, Student - B.S.
  • Amy Fishgold, Student - M.S.
  • Cassandra Marcelo, Student - B.A.


  • Karen Grosby – Center for Psychological Studies


Award Winners

The present multidisciplinary, collaborative study will explore the efficacy of a parent implemented emergent literacy intervention to promote reading readiness and improved parent-child relationships among preschoolers and their caregivers. Subjects will be approximately 80 parents and their preschool children ranging in age from three to five years who attend the Mailman-Segal Institute (MSI) for Early Childhood Studies. An assessment of students' pre - literacy skills will be conducted and teacher and parent rating scales will be collected. Parents will be randomly assigned to experimental and control groups. Parents assigned to the experimental group will learn to implement activities from the Ladders to Literacy curriculum in their daily routine to promote pre-literacy skills. Parents assigned to the control group will learn to implement parenting techniques to promote improved parent-child interactions in an adapted version of Russell Barkley's child management skills program. Adherence to interventions will be monitored by parents' self report and fidelity of implementation will be assessed throughout the research by trained observers. The proposed study seeks to better understand the skills required for early literacy acquisition among preschoolers, and to provide an important training function for graduate students in the areas of preschool assessment and early literacy intervention.

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