The Transition to School in Rural America

A Focus on Literacy

Authored by: Lynne Vernon-feagans , Kathleen C. Gallagher , Kirsten Kainz

Handbook of Research on Schools, Schooling, and Human Development

Print publication date:  May  2010
Online publication date:  June  2010

Print ISBN: 9780805859485
eBook ISBN: 9780203874844
Adobe ISBN: 9781135283872


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One of the most important transition points for children during childhood is the transition to formal schooling. Studies have shown that these early school years set the trajectory for children’s academic performance throughout their schooling, especially in the area of reading (Alexander & Entwisle, 1988; Juel, 1988; Morrison & Connor, chapter 12 this volume; Vernon-Feagans, 1996; Vernon-Feagans & Blair, 2006). These studies have shown that children who do not progress quickly in reading in the early school years, have a difficult time catching up in the later elementary years. For instance, Juel (1988) found that “the probability that a child would remain a poor reader at the end of fourth grade if the child was a poor reader at the end of first grade was .88%” (p. 440).

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