Read Well

Read Well


The Read Well research project is an IES-funded, multi-site systematic replication study to investigate the impact of Read Well when delivered as an intervention for first grade children with reading difficulties. The study includes schools in Virginia, Texas, and California to study the effectiveness of Read Well across geographic sites. Findings will contribute to the body of reading intervention research to better understand the conditions under which Read Well is effective and for whom.


  • Lead Principal Investigator (PI): Emily J. Solari, Edmund H. Henderson Professor of Education (UVA)
  • Co-PI: Vivian Wong, Associate Professor of Education (UVA), Doris Baker, Associate Professor (UT Austin), Cara Richards-Tutor, Professor (CSU Long Beach)

Virginia Research-Practitioner Partnerships

During 2022-23, the project partnered with 15 schools across the Commonwealth to study Read Well with culturally and linguistically diverse student populations. Virginia participants included 43 first-grade teachers and 192 students. Participating schools have at least 50% nonwhite, 50% economically disadvantaged, and 15% English learners. Our partners include small and large elementary schools in rural, suburban, and urban communities. The Read Well project has provided trained staff and materials for reading intervention for treatment students at no cost to participating schools. This research would not be possible without the generous cooperation of our partner schools, administrators, teachers, and students.

Project Activities

This project is a 5-year study with two phases of Read Well implementation and data collection. The findings of the first phase, completed in 2022-23, will be used to inform the second phase. The timeline below explains major project activities for each study year.

  • Planning and preparation for Systematic Replication 1
  • School recruitment
  • Read Well implementation by research staff
  • Pre and post testing for reading and language outcomes
  • Data analysis from Systematic Replication 1
  • Planning and preparation for Systematic Replication 2
  • School Recruitment
  • Read Well implementation by school staff or enhanced implementation by research staff
  • Pre and post testing for reading and language outcomes
  • Data analysis from Systematic Replication 2

Major project activities for 2022-23 included:

  • Screening: Students at participating schools were screened by project staff to identify students at risk for reading difficulties.
  • Randomization: Qualifying students with parent consent were randomly assigned to the treatment group to receive Read Well intervention or to the comparison group to receive typical school-based instruction and/or intervention.
  • Intervention: Project staff were provided thorough training, and these interventionists implemented Read Well with small groups of 3-5 treatment students during the school year.
  • Data Collection: Both groups were assessed with standardized assessments of reading and language skills before and after Read Well implementation.

Read Well

Read Well is a commercially available, comprehensive reading program that addresses the following five areas of reading: phonological awareness, decoding, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension. The program is suitable for small-group instruction and includes continuous progress monitoring to allow interventionists to differentiate instruction based on individual students' needs. The small group lessons provide opportunities for students to apply decoding skills, practice story reading to build fluency, acquire new vocabulary, and develop comprehension skills.

For more information, contact Laura Jo Darcy, Education and Outreach Director ([email protected]).

UVA IRB #4208