Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Peter J. Smith


One of the biggest issues in education today is that no common structure exists to serve students before they reach their fifth birthday. There exists opportunities for children to receive social, emotional and educational instruction, but there are no requirements to participate. Commonly, parents of children that have the financial means take advantage of pre-Kindergarten opportunities, but not every family has that benefit. Researchers have discovered this to be the most critical time in terms of social, psychological and intellectual development in young children. For some students, waiting until they enter Kindergarten to intervene is too late. The purpose of this quantitative study was to explore the effects of a Kindergarten intervention program on student cohort reading achievement scores for primary grades from Summer 2011 to Spring 2013. Thus, this study compared groups mean scale scores on AIMSweb assessments for students who did participate in the Jump Start program to mean scale scores on the AIMSweb assessments on groups of students that did not participate in the Jump Start program. The study also took into account those students from both groups that did and did not participate in a summer intervention. There were no statistically significant differences of student scores between students that received the Jump Start intervention and those that did not receive the Jump Start intervention. This study suggests that with the needed program for students that are at-risk, the students in these groups were able to perform at similar levels as their peers that did not meet the at-risk criteria. The study suggests further research on the effects of the Jump Start intervention with larger groups of students, which will be possible as the program grows each year. The study also suggests consideration of district policy on the allocation of dollars to expand this Jump Start program.


A Dissertation Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate College of the University of Nebraska in Partial Fulfillment of Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Education. Copyright 2014 Peter J. Smith.

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