Early storytelling skills help African-American boys most

The results of a recent study show that strong oral storytelling skills in preschoolers are related to significantly faster reading comprehension skills in elementary school, but only in African-American male populations.

A student raises his hand during the class reading time at Union Hill Elementary School. Dec 7, 2015.
A student raises his hand during the class reading time at Union Hill Elementary School. Dec 7, 2015.  Shelby Knowles for The Texas Tribune

The results of a recent study show that strong oral storytelling skills in preschoolers are related to significantly faster reading comprehension skills in elementary school, but only in African-American male populations. Because most current educational scholarship as applied to students of color highlights deficits in learning, researcher Nicole Gardner-Neblett chose to focus on existing advantages. Her work reveals that, while girls are typically more skilled storytellers in preschool, regardless of their ethnicity, the relationship between those early skills and a later strength in reading by sixth grade only appeared in African-American male populations. (The Hechinger Report)