4Rs Program: Reading, Writing, Respect and Resolution

The New York City Study of Social and Literacy Development is a longitudinal, experimental evaluation of the 4Rs program in 18 New York City public elementary schools.  The evaluation began with 18 public elementary schools, 9 of which were randomly assigned to the intervention group (4Rs) and 9 to the non-intervention control group.  In these schools, a cohort of approximately 1300 3rd grade children were followed for 3 years to examine the longitudinal influence of the 4Rs program on children’s academic and social-emotional outcomes.  Comprehensive and detailed data were gathered from students, their teachers and parents, from both archived and school-based academic and disciplinary records, from independent classroom and school observations, and qualitative interviews with school principals.  Students have been followed throughout the transition to middle school.

The evaluation’s specific focus is on the impact of the 4Rs program on students’ social-emotional and academic development, their health risk behaviors including aggression, depression, and substance use, teachers’ professional development and relationships with students, parenting and parent involvement, and overall classroom and school climate. We are particularly interested in (1) the degree to which changes in teachers' own professional development mediate impacts of the program on children, (2) the nature of the relationship between 4Rs and change in social-emotional versus academic outcomes over time, and (3) the impact of key classroom, family, and neighborhood moderators on the link between 4Rs and outcomes over time. 

Research Collaborators

Larry Aber, NYU, Applied Psychology and Public Policy

Joshua Brown, Fordham University, Department of Psychology