In the first trial, 44 Head Start classrooms were randomly assigned to the REDI intervention or "usual practice" and 356 4-year-old children were followed from prekindergarten into elementary school. The classroom program enhanced teaching quality and promoted improvements in child vocabulary, emergent literacy skills, social competence, learning engagement, and reduced aggression at the end of Head Start. Sustained benefits were documented in kindergarten and second grade, with improved social-emotional functioning still evident for some subgroups at the end of fifth grade.
The first aim of the proposed study is to assess the long term impact of the REDI classroom program by conducting follow-up assessments with the participants in grades 9 and 11, and testing the hypothesis that the improved social-emotional functioning and self-regulation skills promoted by REDI will mediate long term effects on academic attainment and reductions in risky behaviors in adolescence. In 2009, a second REDI trial was initiated. A new sample of 210 children attending Head Start REDI classrooms were randomly assigned to receive a complementary REDI home visiting program or "usual practice" Head Start home visiting. The REDI home visiting program promoted improvements in child social competence, self- directed learning and academic competence in kindergarten with sustained effects evident in second grade.
The second aim of the proposed study is to assess the longer-term impact of the REDI home visiting program by conducting follow-up assessments with the 210 participants in grades 5 and 7, and testing the hypothesis that improved parent support and parent-child communication will mediate program effects on later child outcomes.
The third aim i s to explore the impact of the school context on the long term outcomes of the REDI classroom and home visiting programs. Analyses of the REDI classroom program revealed some moderation in elementary school, with benefits amplified in schools characterized by low levels of student achievement
REDI sought to take advantage of the well-established delivery system of Head Start and its capacity to reach children living in poverty, but to improve its impact by enriching the curriculum with evidence-based components and professional development supports, and enhancing home-visiting with evidence-based parenting practices. This study will evaluate the long term benefits of REDI enhancements to Head Start.
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