Date of Award

Spring 2005

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Urban Services - Urban Education

Committee Director

Abha Gupta

Committee Member

Raymond F. Morgan

Committee Member

Stephen W. Tonelson


This study researched the effects of Breakthrough to Literacy (1998), a phonological awareness computer-based program, on elementary school students in grades kindergarten through three. The treatment group received the Breakthrough to Literacy program in kindergarten. The control group received the traditional curriculum without this program. The students were assessed on phonological awareness skills at the end of kindergarten, the fall and spring of grade one and grade two. Their reading comprehension skills were also assessed at the end of grade 3. Results indicate that Breakthrough to Literacy improved the phonological awareness skills of students who received the program in grades kindergarten and one. These improvements were no longer evident in grade two and there was no difference between the groups on the delayed measure of reading comprehension. The data suggest that Breakthrough to Literacy is an effective intervention to initially improve phonological awareness skills, but is not sufficient to provide longitudinal improvements and is not linked to an improvement in reading comprehension.


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