Considerations for Future Research

One key challenge in this area of research is the lack of finding available for summer learning programs which target the academic needs of struggling students. Often times these agencies rely on the help of volunteers and fundraising teams in order to create sustainable and effective family literacy programs (Timmons, 2008). Without funding from the Canadian Federal and Provincial government, families who lack financial resources might not be able to enrol their children in a literacy program. This only further exacerbates the troublesome summer learning loss that is faced by children from lower-socio economic backgrounds as access to these important interventions might not be accessible. Taking a proactive approach to minimize the summer learning gap of vulnerable learners, would not only benefit the child but at the same time reduce the likelihood of costly remediation down the road.

In addition, there could be ethical issues involved in selecting participants for research that evaluates the efficacy of summer reading programs. Assigning children to a control group that refuses them the support services they need has serious implications (Timmons, 2008). Whose responsibility is it to decide which participants will not attend an intervention that they are seeking? Do the benefits of the research yielded outweigh the associated risks? These are important considerations that researchers need to take into account in order to respect the diverse situations of participants and their families.

Moreover, numerous research studies use quantitative data to identify the literacy gains made over the summer as a result of reading intervention programs (Timmons, 2008). In addition to statistical measures qualitative methods such as interviews and surveys would also yield important information. Employing a mixed method approach to evaluating family literacy programs would provide families, educators, and public officials with rich data as a basis for future decisions.

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