Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Degree Level



Rehabilitation, Human Resources and Communication Disorders


Bowers, Lisa M

Committee Member/Reader

Bowers , Andrew L

Committee Member/Second Reader

Srivastava, Pradyumn


After-school programs have been implemented around the country to improve reading, writing, math and other academic areas of elementary education. The University of Arkansas has created a mentoring program through the Volunteer Action Center (VAC), called the VAC Literacy Program in order to allow University volunteers to mentor an elementary student and help foster a love of reading in their hearts. Limited research has been done on the impact after-school programs have on the elementary students attitudes towards reading. Most after-school programs that have improved reading skills of elementary students are structured, they engage the students in reading and the have specific literacy instructions/ multiple training sessions for the mentors. The purpose of this study is to implement changes to the VAC Literacy program. This study provided one group of volunteers with monthly training sessions on how to implement reading aloud and literature circle discussions into their reading sessions and had a second control group that received no additional training. Findings showed a significant crossover interaction, with the control group demonstrating decreased positive attitudes towards reading and the experimental group demonstrating increased positives attitudes towards reading. Implications of findings are discussed.