Mission I’m possible: Effects of a community-based project on the basic literacy skills of at-risk kindergarteners.


This study used a nonequivalent group design to evaluate the impact of an emergent literacy intervention on preschool children identified with early reading difficulties. Thirty-five children were compared with 39 typically developing classroom peers on various reading measures in a community-based project-‘Mission I’m Possible’ (MIP), instigated by a major children’s hospital for children with developmental delays. A unique and key feature of MIP is the anchor of a learning support educator to support the child and the teacher in the classroom after completion of a one-on-one pullout literacy intervention conducted over 10 weekly sessions. At pretest, these children lagged behind their peers in most emergent reading tasks. At posttest, they made a mean gain of 11 months across various tasks that involved vocabulary, prereading and reading performances, and written language. No significant differences were found in aspects of their receptive and expressive language. Parents reported significant improvement in their children’s prosocial behavior but not in other aspects of social and behavioral functioning. The findings reiterated that of early intervention programs in the West, demonstrating the malleability of young children’s learning capacities despite developmental delays. Implications of the findings on the literacy development of such children are discussed.