Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Michael DiPaola

Committee Member

Elizabeth Constantino

Committee Member

Jennifer Parish


The purpose of this study was to conduct a program evaluation of an after-school reading intervention program for reluctant readers. The program is part of a school district initiative to help young students establish positive, productive habits and dispositions toward reading. Program participants included teachers in the after-school program and parents of students who participated for two years. The evaluation questions were designed to assess the perceptions of those stakeholders on the benefit of the program for student participants. Both teachers and parents perceived that the program benefited students' receptive vocabularies. Teachers found that the program significantly improved students' ability to read independently for longer and longer periods of time. Likewise, parents noticed that their children were more willing to initiate reading at home, while many also found that their children would persist at independent reading because they were enjoying it more. The program was credited with improving elements of students' self-efficacy in reading, such as confidence, persistence, and positive emotional responses to challenging tasks. Goal-setting, as a subset of self-efficacy, was a less obvious outcome of the program. Small, relaxed and supportive after-school learning environments where students developed strong relationships with peers and their after-school teacher helped to make the program enjoyable for students and optimized outcomes. Recommendations for further study on the program outcomes at other schools and quantitative outcomes after more years of program implementation are included.



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