NICHD Early Interventions Project in Washington, D.C.

G. Reid Lyon, Ph.D

A 1996 Washington Post article by G. Reid Lyon, Ph.D. that reported the major findings of the NICHD reading research program, caught the attention of the Deputy Chief Academic Officer of Washington, D.C. Public Schools (DCPS). He contacted the NICHD about the possibility of applying current research findings to help DCPS children improve their reading achievement.

Subsequently, Dr. Barbara Foorman at the University of Texas, who was applying for continuation of her NICHD sponsored reading research program in Houston, proposed the inclusion of nine DCPS schools in a project to be conducted jointly between Houston and Washington.

The proposal was approved and has identified two goals for the research conducted under its authorization: first, to enhance reading instruction in low-performing schools through the provision of training, materials, and instructional support; and second, to discover the answer to the following question: “Which components of reading instructional programs have what effect on what kinds of children at what stage of reading development under what classroom and environmental conditions?”

Four reading curricula are being used in classrooms across the Houston and DCPS research sites: Houghton Mifflin’s Invitations to Literacy, Open Court’s Collections for Young Scholars, SRA’s Reading Mastery, and Success for All, Reading Roots and Wings. The Project Director is Dr. Louisa Cook Moats, who has been an NICHD researcher for some time. For additional information call 202-541-6354.