An Experimental Study Of Mentoring Practices In An America Reads Program: Measures of Intervention Fidelity And Implementation

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The America Reads (AR) program at the University of Maryland serves approximately 350 local elementary school students per semester, and trains undergraduate tutors to teach reading using techniques drawn from Reading Recovery methods. Previous research implies that the implementation of interventions should be evaluated prior to gauging their effectiveness.  The present study assessed aspects of program implementation for America Reads at the University of Maryland. In addition, it examined the efficacy of a self-monitoring and corrective feedback procedure for improving level of implementation. AR tutors were randomly assigned to the experimental self-monitoring and feedback procedure or to usual and customary monitoring to assess the effects on mentor implementation. Controlling for school assignment, the effect of this self-monitoring and feedback procedure on mentors' self-reported level of implementation was not significant in the small sample of mentors. Descriptive results including information about the effectiveness and utility of existing procedures for monitoring program implementation, and tutor training have a number of implications for strengthening the Maryland realization of AR; they have implications for the use of monitoring and feedback in the design of similar educational service programs.