The global COVID-19 pandemic prevented the implementation of in-person summer learning programs designed to improve school readiness for entering kindergartners. Thus, we conducted the current study examining the feasibility, social validity, and preliminary impacts of a virtual summer learning program. Ninety-one preschoolers and their caregivers participated in a 4-week program involving one weekly teacher-caregiver meeting, two weekly Watch Together home learning activities, two weekly Play Together home learning activities, one or two weekly Read Together home learning activities, and one or two weekly teacher-child video chat lessons. Recruitment and participation indicated high levels of interest. Caregivers reported high levels of satisfaction with the program and teachers reported moderate to high levels of child engagement during video chat lessons. Children showed significant gains on emotion knowledge, patterning, and alphabet knowledge. Practice or Policy: This study demonstrates the promise of a virtual kindergarten readiness program and suggests that the combination of educational media and video chat instruction may be effective for promoting children’s skills. A virtual intervention could be beneficial in other contexts, such as in rural areas where it would be challenging for families to participate in an in-person program or for immunocompromised or seriously ill children who are unable to attend in person. (author abstract)
Virtual kindergarten readiness programming for preschool-aged children: Feasibility, social validity, and preliminary impacts
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