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How the Get Ready to Read!SM Screening Tool Was Developed

The Get Ready to Read! campaign was launched by the National Center for Learning Disabilities in 2001. It is a nationwide campaign to provide parents and early childhood care providers with understanding of the skills and knowledge four-year-olds need to be ready to learn to read in kindergarten. One part of this initiative is the development of this research-based screening tool.

The National Center for Learning Disabilities selected Grover (Russ) Whitehurst, Ph.D., to serve as the principal investigator and developer of the Get Ready to Read! screening tool. Dr. Whitehurst is a nationally renowned expert on early literacy and child development who serves as leading professor of psychology and pediatrics and chairman of the Department of Psychology at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook. Selected as co-principal investigator was Christopher Lonigan, Ph.D., an associate professor of psychology at Florida State University, Tallahassee.

Advisors to the process included Jack Fletcher, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Texas, Houston; Victoria Molfese, Ph.D., director of the Early Childhood Research Center at the University of Louisville, Kentucky; and Joseph Torgesen, Ph.D., distinguished research professor of psychology and education at Florida State University, Tallahassee.

Items included in the Get Ready to Read! screening tool were selected from other tools used in ongoing (longitudinal) research studies that have been following more than 700 young children from age three through the early elementary grades. To be sure that these items would provide valid information about a child's emergent literacy skills, in 2000 researchers field-tested the Get Ready to Read! screening items in New York and Florida with 342 children attending Head Start centers, pre-kindergarten classes, and private nursery school programs. Equal numbers of boys and girls were included in the study, and children from African-American, Latino, Caucasian, and other racial and ethnic backgrounds were represented. These children came from low- and middle-income families and ranged in age from 48 to 59 months.

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This activity is provided by the National Center for Learning Disabilities, Inc. Get Ready to Read!, a program of the National Center for Learning Disabilities, Inc, aims for all preschool children to have the skills they need to learn to read when they enter school. For more information go to Get Ready to Ready!


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