Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Department Chair

Jessica Glass Kendorski, PhD, NCSP, BCBA-D

First Advisor

Virginia Salzer, PhD

Second Advisor

Barry McCurdy, PhD, NCSP, BCBA-D

Third Advisor

Aili Pogust, EdD


The current study was a pilot study to assess the feasibility of “Learning to Read with the Magic Seeds,” a four-week shared reading program, and its effectiveness in changing parental beliefs about literacy. Two groups of parents of preschool-aged children with different demographics participated in the study. Parents completed the Parental Reading Beliefs Inventory prior to and after the four sessions. The first session included an introduction, assessments, and a conversation about literacy beliefs, practices in the home, and the importance of talk. Subsequent sessions focused on extending book talk, phonological awareness, and developing print awareness. During the session, the parents first shared their experiences with the previous strategy. Then the facilitator introduced the new strategy and showed a video that modeled the new strategy. Toward the end of the workshop, parents had the opportunity to try the new strategy with their children. A new book was provided by the facilitator. At the end of sessions #2-4, there was a quick debrief to get feedback from the participants, and session #4 ended with a second administration of the Parent Reading Beliefs Inventory. The comparison between the pre-intervention and post-intervention scores revealed increases in each of the seven subtests of the PRBI, but none of the increases was statistically significant. Participants’ feedback on “Learning to Read with the Magic Seeds” stated that the structure, content, and resources of the program were highly rated and helpful to the participants; however, recruitment and retention of participants in a four-workshop series proved to be challenging.