Puccioni Awarded Grant for Parental Involvement Study

Albany, NY (September 12, 2017) - Jaime Puccioni, Literacy Teaching and Learning, has been awarded a 3-year grant in the amount of $180,000 from the Foundation for Child Development to study the differential impact of preschool teachers’ outreach efforts on measures of school readiness for children from economically disadvantaged backgrounds by way of parental involvement.

Dr. Jaime PuccioniMore specifically, the study draws upon nationally representative data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study–Birth cohort to estimate a moderated mediation model within a structural equation model framework to examine the direct and indirect effects of preschool teachers’ outreach efforts on children’s academic and social-emotional outcomes during the transition to elementary school. The study will simultaneously examine if children from economically disadvantaged backgrounds benefit more from preschool teachers’ outreach efforts by way of increased home and school-based parental involvement. The project is grounded in the theory of parental involvement proposed by Hoover-Dempsey et al. (2005), which suggests that invitations for involvement shape parents’ school and home-based involvement, which in turn influences children’s outcomes.

The findings from this research project have several important practical and policy implications. Results will broaden our understanding of potential disparities in children’s early educational opportunities and subsequent outcomes during the transition to elementary school. Most importantly, findings will demonstrate the degree to which preschool teachers’ outreach efforts shape home and school-based parental involvement, which in turn, has the potential to positively influence children’s academic and social-emotional outcomes during the transition to elementary school. Furthermore, results may indicate that children from economically disadvantaged backgrounds benefit more from outreach efforts, thereby highlighting the importance of developing policies that encourage and support efforts to create smooth linkages between systems, such as connections between preschool and kindergarten educators and between schools and families.

Puccioni received a dual Ph.D. in Educational Policy and Curriculum, Instruction, and Teacher Education with an emphasis in language and literacy from Michigan State University and she was a postdoctoral research associate at Michigan State, funded by the National Institutes of Health. Prior to completing her doctorate, Puccioni was a middle school teacher in Los Angeles, a literacy content coach, and member of the school leadership team. She taught a variety of teacher education courses in the areas of content area literacy methods, social studies methods, and advanced instructional methods for elementary and secondary educators.