Student success is closely related to student engagement and literacy instruction, which can positively or negatively impact a student. It has been documented that children motivated to read have a strong sense of reading efficacy and academic competence (Wigfield et al., 2015). This research study addressed the skills needed by literacy specialists to engage students in reading. This study sought to determine the best practices used by literacy specialists identified as highly effective in engaging K-5 students in reading. While issues and challenges of literacy education have made it to the forefront for many educational agencies, there are still gaps between what is identified as successful ways to increase student engagement. Scholars and practitioners agree that student engagement in reading positively impacts their academic success and how they contribute to society. Appreciative Inquiry, best practices, and constructivism were used to inform this research. Each theory was used to contextualize the findings of this study and engage stakeholders. For this study, the phenomenological method guided a structural model. It aided in outlining the best practices needed to engage students in reading according to theory and expert panelists.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Reading (Elementary); School children; Literacy--Education; Elementary

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Farzin Madjidi