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i3 Summer Study

The UPSTART Elementary program is a computer program used by elementary school children in the summer after kindergarten to forestall learning loss and the “summer slide” that can undermine progress in developing literacy skills and meeting beginning of the year benchmarks upon return to school. Our evaluation of the UPSTART Elementary program used a quasi-experimental design to compare the literacy scores of children matriculating into first grade who enrolled in the program to a statistically matched group of control students who were offered the opportunity to but did not enroll. Children who participated in UPSTART Elementary scored significantly higher on a composite early literacy measure, as well as on subscales that measured letter name fluency and phoneme segmentation fluency. In addition, UPSTART Elementary students had lower levels of literacy learning loss over the summer between kindergarten and first grade. 


  • Hobbs, L.J., & Overby, M. (2019). Impact of UPSTART Program on Forestalling Summer Learning Loss.

  • Overby, M. (2017). Rural UPSTART Summer Study: Overview and Preliminary Results.

  • Overby, M. (2017). i3 Rural UPSTART Program Evaluation 2017 Progress Report.

Papers and presentations are available. For more information, contact: 

Jon Hobbs, Ph.D. 

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