Examining the Efficacy of Friends on the Block: An Intensive Early Literacy Intervention for Elementary Students with Intellectual and Developmental Disability

Research scientists are studying ways to improve language and reading skills for elementary students
Co Investigators

The purpose of Project Intensity is to conduct a randomized control trial (RCT) in schools in Alabama and Texas to evaluate the initial efficacy of Friends On The Block (www.FriendsOnTheBlock.com) a comprehensive text?based early literacy intervention written by professors Dr. Jill Allor, Dr. Stephanie Al Otaiba, and Dr. Jennifer Cheatham, to enhance the reading and language outcomes of participating students with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).

Specifically, 240 students with IDD will be randomly assigned to a literacy intervention treatment condition (Friends on the Block (FOTB)) or a business?as?usual (BAU) control condition. Students in the treatment condition will receive the intervention from Project Teachers across two academic years. In addition to examining treatment effects on reading and language outcomes, the investigators will explore moderators (e.g., IQ, SES) of the treatment.

Friends on the Block is a comprehensive early literacy intervention designed to be inclusive and address the specific challenges and strengths of students with IDD; it includes a range of customizable and motivating materials comprised of: (1) a researcher?developed book series, (2) explicit lessons that provide extensive opportunities for students to integrate skills and apply them in a meaningful context, and (3) multiple learning games to support practice and review.

This is a subaward with Southern Methodist University from the U.S. Department of Education.


7/1/20 - 6/30/25


United States Department of Education