Ready4K builds on research conducted by the company’s founder, Ben York. In a randomized controlled trial study in San Francisco Unified School District, Ben and Ready4K’s Academic Advisor, Susanna Loeb, found that parents who received text messages with fun facts and easy tips on how to maximize existing family routines engaged in more home learning activities and were more involved at school than parents in a control group. More importantly, the children of these parents gained 2-3 months of additional learning (York & Loeb, 2014). Since reporting these findings, Ben, Susanna and colleagues have conducted numerous follow-up studies, the results of which are forthcoming.

The results of this research have been highlighted in:

The New York Times Huffington Post Education Week
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(York & Loeb, 2014) One step at a time: The effects of an early literacy text messaging program for parents of preschoolers

The home learning experiences of young children vary dramatically. Hart and Risley (1995), for example, finds that by the age of four, poor children hear about 30 million fewer words than wealthy children. Such disparities are troubling given the strong links between parenting and children's development of motor, social, emotional, literacy, and numeracy skills (e.g., Anderson, 2006). Many parenting programs aren't widely accessible either due to costs or the demands that they place on parents' time and effort (e.g., Aos, Lieb, Mayfield, Miller & Pennucci, 2004). In this study, we evaluate the effectiveness of READY4K!, a home literacy-focused text messaging program for parents of preschoolers. READY4K! is designed to break down the complexity of supportive parenting by continuously providing parents with small bits of actionable information throughout the school year. We find that the program had positive effects on parental involvement at home and in school, which translated into two to three months of child literacy gains (click “View PDF” to download the full paper).

“I love the facts and helpful tips it offers. They give me new ideas to try.”

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