Abt Associates: Bold thinkers driving real-world impact
Breakthrough to Literacy (BTL) is a widely used early language and literacy curriculum for preschool through third grade that introduces students to a book-a-week throughout the year. Students receive several different book formats — Big Books, Take-Me-Home Books, audio books, and computerized versions. Earlier research about BTL’s impact on learning was promising, although small in scale and quasi-experimental in nature.
Abt Associates, working with the University of Iowa, studied a large sample of pre-kindergarten and kindergarten classrooms in Chicago with funding from a grant from the Institute of Education Sciences at the U.S. Department of Education. Abt designed and conducted a randomized cluster trial within which schools were assigned either to BTL or to a control group, with at least two preschool and two kindergarten classrooms in each school. Impacts on children were assessed based on standardized tests of early language and reading skills, with follow-up through grade 2. In addition, pre-kindergarten and kindergarten teacher practices and classroom environments were evaluated via state-of-the art observations of the literacy support and interactions in the classrooms. The findings provide rigorous evidence on the large-scale implementation of the intervention.
Read more about Abt's evaluation of BTL
The Chicago Literacy Initiative Making Better Early Readers (CLIMBERs) Study: Impacts on Teachers and Students in Pre-Kindergarten
The Chicago Literacy Initiative Making Better Early Readers (CLIMBERs) Study: Impacts of Breakthrough to Literacy on Kindergarten Teachers and Students
The Chicago Literacy Initiative Making Better Early Readers (CLIMBERs) Study: Longer-term Impacts on Students in First and Second Grade
Abt Associates is a mission-driven, global leader in research, evaluation and program implementation in the fields of health, social and environmental policy, and international development. Known for its rigorous approach to solving complex challenges, Abt Associates is regularly ranked as one of the top 20 global research firms and one of the top 40 international development innovators. The company has multiple offices in the U.S. and program offices in more than 40 countries.