Several recent publications focusing on early childhood reading development have included research by Dr. Ann Harvey, Western New Mexico University Professor of Reading.
Academic journals in New Mexico, Texas, Arizona, and Europe have published at least seven pieces written by Dr. Harvey over the last two years on topics such as the achievement scores of Imagination Library students and the vocabulary development of English learners.
Harvey believes that this is an important time to evaluate reading in the classroom, how it is taught, and how students learn, especially in the state of New Mexico.
“Reading is important to New Mexico because our students score 49th on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP),” said Harvey. “We have kids who come from poor families whose English is often limited because they have only arrived here.”
These lower reading scores tilt the average for the entire state, and the effort to improve them is one of the reasons that Harvey moved to New Mexico from the Midwest. After her arrival, Harvey soon partnered with Loren and Barbara Nelson, local reading champions, who administer the area’s Grant County Imagination Library program.
“We wanted to find the school achievement results of students in K-2 whose parents read to them,” said Harvey. “That led to the Fredrick Leonhardt Foundation grant called Watch Them Grow, which was conducted at two different schools.”
The two schools used different assessments, so the research was replicated to note similarities in results. Harvey published several research articles on the achievement scores, as well as parent surveys, in order to contribute to the body of knowledge.
The recent increase in publications for reading research began in 2014, when Harvey applied for a grant to study the effects of electronic books (eBooks) on reading comprehension for the Imagination Library organization, which mails paper books to kids monthly. The Imagination Library wanted to learn about the benefits of using the alternative eBooks.
Harvey partnered with the local Imagination Library chapter and was granted $20,000 from the Fredrick Leonhardt Foundation, paying for the research and for book distributions by the organization.
“The result of the eBook research, entitled, To ‘e’ or not to ‘e’ was presented at Oxford University, in England,” said Harvey.
Harvey’s most recent publication, The Harvey Emergent Reading Inventory, was developed for the 21st century child, who often learns by looking at screens for prolonged periods of time. A reading inventory is a survey designed to help determine a student’s reading instructional needs.
“I come from a background of perceptual learning where we look at strengths and weaknesses,” said Harvey. “I wanted to present something that would define and accommodate the child’s learning style.”
Harvey is active in the community, partnering with local organizations and non-profits creating awareness of reading issues and programs for youth.
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October 11, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Abe Villarreal