Summer Reading Intervention Study

***Screening and enrollment for the Summer 2022 Cohort is OPEN. You are welcome to sign up to be screened for eligibility for the intervention study as well as other current studies.***

Study Background: 

This research study will be conducted by the Stanford Reading and Dyslexia Research Program (RDRP) in collaboration with Lindamood-Bell Learning Centers. This study will examine how the brain changes, before and after children receive reading instruction. 

Because this is a research study, eligibility for the study depends on multiple factors. The reading instruction is designed for children with a certain range of performance on a variety of tasks. Interested families will have the opportunity to complete one or more screenings.

General Overview:
This study involves 8 consecutive weeks of reading instruction (online for Summer 2021, TBD for Summer 2022) over your child’s summer break (4 hours/day; 5 days/week; 8 weeks) through Lindamood-Bell Learning Center. In addition to the reading instruction, the study also includes in-person visits at Stanford and virtual testing sessions before and after the instruction from April/May 2021 – May/June 2022. We may ask you and your child to do some other activities at home (e.g., surveys, online activities) in between these five time frames.

Stanford Baselines and Follow-Ups: 

There will be a total of five time frames for your child to complete the Stanford visits and virtual testing sessions: two time frames will be before the summer (baselines) and three time frames will be after the summer (follow-ups). Each time frame will require 1-2 Stanford visits for MRI and behavioral testing.

Summer 2021 Cohort Schedule.
*Please note for the Summer 2022 Cohort: Baseline 1 is planned for March 2022 (8 weeks before Baseline 2), and Follow-Up 2 is planned for January 2023 (instead of December 2022).

Your child will be rewarded $120/time frame, and we are happy to have a conversation about transportation cost reimbursements if needed (please request ahead of time).

The Stanford baselines and follow-ups will include the following: 

  • Behavioral testing using assessments
  • Cognitive/thinking activities
  • Child surveys/interviews about attitudes towards reading and school
  • Parent surveys
  • Brain imaging using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

In between these baselines and follow-ups, we may also ask you and your child to complete activities at home. 

More about MRI: 

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a common imaging method that is widely used by scientists and doctors. Using a strong magnetic field, MRI allows scientists to study brain structure and brain activity. MRI does not use radiation. 

The Reading and Dyslexia Research Program has years of experience working with children at the MRI center. We make MRI visits child-friendly. Your child will have the chance to get acclimated with the MRI visit by using an MRI simulator that looks similar to the real MRI scanner and makes the same noises. At the end, they will receive a picture of their own brain!

During the MRI session, your child will be asked to lie down still in an MRI scanner while completing tasks or watching movies. This study is not suited for children who are claustrophobic or have a hard time staying still. Your child must also be free of metal (including braces) throughout the whole study period from April/May 2021 – May/June 2022. We cannot run MRI sessions with children who have metal on or in them.

Summer Reading Intervention at Lindamood-Bell Learning Center: 

Reading instruction will start sometime in June, and exact start dates will depend on your child’s school schedule. Your child must be able to commit to 8 consecutive weeks of reading instruction over the summer. By being a participant in this research study, your child will receive this instruction free of charge. Further scheduling details will be coordinated by the team at Lindamood-Bell Learning Centers. Please note that all reading instruction will happen online for Summer 2021. The format of instruction has not yet been determined for Summer 2022.

Questions? Contact the Stanford RDRP research team at

Interested in this study?
Sign up to join our participant pool and be considered for this study! The research team will follow up with next steps.