Hoot Reading Shown to Increase Children’s Reading Achievement Over Video Chat

Study Indicates That Intentional Instructional Design, Delivered Over Video Chat, Can be Impactful in Improving Literacy

Winnipeg, MB (March 27, 2020) — At a moment in time when teachers, parents, policymakers and consumers are questioning how digital media might promote literacy instead of undermining it, this study set out to examine the efficacy of Hoot Reading, an online tutoring program that connects kids to real classroom teachers, for personalized reading lessons over a video chat application, designed specifically for guided reading.

Hoot Reading has released the results of a research study that evaluated the efficacy of the Hoot Reading program in improving children’s reading skills. The research was done by Dr. Susan B. Neuman, former U.S. Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education, and her team at the Literacy, Technology & Culture Lab at NYU. 

The evaluation examined gains in children’s reading abilities. Over the course of a five week program, the data was collected at various public schools in Manhattan, in partnership with Read Alliance. Half of the students received Read Alliance intervention and a Hoot Reading tutor, and the other half received Read Alliance intervention only. 

The findings of the study show that children who received Hoot Reading made greater gains in all areas. Most notably, children made gains over 150% greater in oral reading fluency than students who did not have Hoot Reading lessons. 

“The students made substantial progress in reading and showed significant gains in key areas of their literacy development,” said Dr. Susan B. Neuman, Professor of Early Childhood & Literacy Education, New York University, and Principal Investigator, NYU Literacy, Technology & Culture Lab. “The addition of Hoot Reading was clearly an advantage. Hoot Reading works and the program can make a significant difference in children’s reading achievement. Further, for the field, it is exciting to learn that evidence-based instructional design, delivered over video chat, can be impactful in improving literacy.”

“The gains we found were quite substantial given the brief intervention,” said Carly Shuler, CEO and Co-Founder of Hoot Reading. “We also found evidence that as the study progressed, children began to enjoy reading more and had increased self confidence in their reading ability. While we always knew anecdotally that Hoot Reading works, it is nice to have the evidence. It was a significant and unusual investment as a startup to invest in this type of rigorous research, and we are very pleased with the results.”

Learn more by downloading the full report at www.hootreading.com/NYUstudy

About Hoot Reading

Hoot Reading is a leader in reading education, offering personalized lessons that can be completed online on an iPad, from the comfort of home. Hoot connects kids with experienced classroom teachers, to practice reading over a proprietary video chat App, which was designed based on a research project at Sesame Workshop (the creators of Sesame Street). Their customized reading programs – Hoot Enrich, Hoot Tutor, and Hoot Junior – are designed to ensure that all readers (of any age or level) receive the attention and help they deserve. Their mission is to close the gap on the 4th grade reading slump and help ALL kids learn to read. 

Visit www.hootreading.com to learn more.  

About Dr. Neuman

Susan B. Neuman is a specialist in early literacy development; whose research and teaching interests include early childhood policy, curriculum, and early reading instruction for children who live in poverty. In her role as the U.S. Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education, Neuman established the Early Reading First program, developed the Early Childhood Educator Professional Development Program, and was responsible for all activities in Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Act. She has written more than 100 articles and authored and edited eleven books.

About Read Alliance

Read Alliance works to accelerate the educational trajectory of early elementary students, through the power of teens who provide one-to-one literacy tutoring, in under-resourced communities. They provide early literacy intervention to K-2nd graders in public and charter schools, and community based organizations in all five boroughs in NYC, through their School Year and Summer Reading Programs.   Since 2000, Read Alliance has served over 15,000 students and employed over 11,750 tutors.

Media Contact

Alyssa Pitura
Senior Manager of Marketing
Hoot Reading