Research-Practice Partnerships

Research and evaluation activities within the Urban Child Study Center focus specifically on the triumphs and challenges that children experience while living in urban areas.   We believe that healthy, successful children emerge when families, schools, and communities work together.  Therefore, the Center’s activities are interdisciplinary, and representative of the most pressing issues facing children today. We strive to create lasting research-practice partnerships that bridge the divide between research and practice, contributing directing to our partners’ efforts to both “know” and “do” what works on behalf of children.  We invite you to learn more about some of the Center’s ongoing research and evaluation activities.


The Rollins Center for Language & Literacy at The Atlanta Speech School developed Read Right from the Start—a comprehensive, effective professional development initiative focused on strengthening and enriching the language and literacy development of young children (birth to age 8).  The Rollins Center partners with early childhood educators, childcare providers, and elementary schools to provide various professional development opportunities, including workshops, seminars, coaching, mentoring, and online learning.  Focused specifically on helping teachers of children who are living in poverty and children who are at the greatest risk for experiencing reading difficulties in school, Read Right from the Start has been delivered to hundreds of teachers and thousands of children in the metro Atlanta area.  The Urban Child Study Center serves as the research & evaluation partner for Read Right from the Start.

For more information about this partnership, please contact: Dr. Nicole Patton Terry (npterry@gsu.edu) and Dr. Gary Bingham (gbingham@gsu.edu)

For more information about the Rollins Center for Language & Literacy, please click here: https://www.atlantaspeechschool.org/default.aspx?RelId=606425

Read Right at the Metro Atlanta YMCA

Beginning in 2011, the YMCA of Metro Atlanta partnered with the Rollins Center to bring Read Right from the Start to its early education centers.  By its completion, this partnership will have served more than 160 lead and assistant classroom teachers and more than 1500 children ages birth to 5 years old.

For more information about this project, please contact: Taneisha Lee (tlee27@student.gsu.edu), Dr. Nicole Patton Terry (npterry@gsu.edu) or Dr. Gary Bingham (gbingham@gsu.edu)

For more information about the YMCA of Metro Atlanta, please click here: http://www.ymcaatlanta.org/preschool/

Read Right at Sheltering Arms Early Education and Family Centers

Beginning in 2012, the Sheltering Arms Early Education and Family Centers partnered with the Rollins Center to bring Read Right from the Start to it’s early education centers.  By it’s completion, this partnership will have served more than 150 lead and assistant classroom teachers and more than 1500 children ages birth to 5 years old.

Kristy Girardeau (kmcghee6@student.gsu.edu),  Dr. Nicole Patton Terry (npterry@gsu.edu) or Dr. Gary Bingham (gbingham@gsu.edu)

For more information about Sheltering Arms Early Education and Family Centers, please click here: http://www.shelteringarmsforkids.com/

Coaching Model Evaluation

Researchers in the Urban Child Study Center are investigating the components of the coaching model used to bring Read Right from the Start into early childhood classrooms.  By examining the implementation models that have been used in classrooms throughout metro Atlanta, researchers will uncover the most effective components of the coaching experience that lead to successful outcomes for teachers and children.

For more information about this project, please contact: Margaret Quinn (mquinn6@student.gsu.edu),  Dr. Nicole Patton Terry (npterry@gsu.edu) or Dr. Gary Bingham (gbingham@gsu.edu)

2012-2014 Coaching Program Evaluation Report

Read Right E-Learning Evaluation Study (RREES)

Researchers in the Urban Child Study Center are examining the impact of teachers' access to to Read Right from the Start E-Learning Platform by  investigating its impact on teachers' implementation of the Read Right instructional strategies, and the quality of teachers' instructional practices.

For more information about this project, please contact: Dr. Nicole Patton Terry (npterry@gsu.edu) or Dr. Gary Bingham (gbingham@gsu.edu)

In 2013, the Urban Child Study Center became the local evaluation partner for Educare Atlanta.

As a member of the national Educare Learning Network, the goal of Educare Atlanta is to provide high quality early education experiences and support services to children (birth to 5) and families living in poverty.  As the local evaluation partner, the Urban Child Study Center will evaluate program quality characteristics (including classroom, teacher, child, and family outcomes).

Educare Atlanta is operated by Sheltering Arms Early Education and Family Centers and is located at the Dunbar Learning Complex in the Mechanicsville area of downtown Atlanta.

For more information about this project, please contact: Erica Edwards (eedwards22@student.gsu.edu),  Dr. Nicole Patton Terry (npterry@gsu.edu), Dr. Gary Bingham (gbingham@gsu.edu), Dr. Julie Washington (jwashington@gsu.edu)

For more information about Educare Atlanta, please click here: http://dunbarlearningcomplex.org/educare/.

To learn more about the National Educare Learning Network, please click here: http://www.educareschools.org/home/index.php

The purpose of the Atlanta Promise Neighborhood (APN) Partnership to Support Schools project is to support the educational goals of select elementary schools in the Atlanta Public Schools district. The Urban Child Study Center is partnering with these schools to provide ongoing support and professional development in the use Self-Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD); an explicit, evidence-based approach to teaching composition skills that has show the greatest effectiveness in improving children's performance in the upper elementary grades.

For more information on this project, please contact: Dr. Debra McKeown (dmckeown@gsu.edu) or Dr. Nicole Patton-Terry (npterry@gsu.edu).

The Urban Child Study Center has partnered with Dunbar Early Learning Complex to examine the long-term educational and behavioral outcomes of children who attended early education programs within the Complex. The Dunbar Early Learning Complex takes a comprehensive, innovative approach to ensuring the academic success and the overall health and well being of children and families living in poverty in southwest Atlanta.. The purpose of The K+ project is to examine the social, academic, and behavioral performance of children who participated in early education at the complex.

For more information on this project, please contact: Bryan Murray (bmurray1@student.gsu.edu),  Dr. Nicole Patton Terry (npterry@gsu.edu), Dr. Gary Bingham (gbingham@gsu.edu), Dr. Julie Washington (jwashington@gsu.edu)

The Urban Child Study Center has partnered with the Rollins Center for Language and Literacy to collect teacher and student information at the East Lake YMCA and Drew Charter School. The focus will be on children's receptive vocabulary development as well as examining the quality of teachers' instructional practices.

For more information about this project, please contact: Dr. Nicole Patton Terry (npterry@gsu.edu), Dr. Gary Bingham (gbingham@gsu.edu), or Dr. Julie Washington (jwashington@gsu.edu).

The Urban Child Study Center has partnered with Child Trends and the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning to evaluate the Georgia Quality Rating and Improvement System in child care facilities across the state. Click here to learn more about the Governor's Office of Student Achievement in Georgia.

For more information about this project, please contact: Dr. Rihana Mason (rihana@gsu.edu), Dr. Nicole Patton Terry (npterry@gsu.edu), or Dr. Gary Bingham (gbingham@gsu.edu).

The Georgia Learning Disabilities Research Innovation Hub (GLDRH) is a federally funded, cross-disciplinary, research hub that addresses the specific needs of African-American children who have learning disabilities (LD). Currently, the hub is focused on reading disabilities within this population. Our current foci are:

  • improving measurement and identification of reading-related learning disabilities in African-American children generally, and in African-American children growing up in poverty, specifically.
  • understanding the role of dialectal variation in the development of reading skills and reading-related learning disabilities in this population.
  • developing linguistic and cognitive profiles of a large sample of urban African-American children.

For more information about the project, see:

For more information about this project, please contact: Dr. Julie Washington (jwashington@gsu.edu) or Dr. Nicole Patton Terry (npterry@gsu.edu).

The Grow Up Great Atlanta Team is a partnership  between PNC Bank, Fernbank Museum of Natural History, the Alliance Theater/Woodruff Arts Center, Sheltering Arms Early Education and Family  Centers, Atlanta Public Schools (APS), and the Urban Child Study Center in the College of Education & Human Development at Georgia State University.

The purpose of Grow Up Great Atlanta is to infuse arts and science education in preschool (3-year-old) and pre-k (4-year-old) early childhood classrooms. Program partners have designed the program to reflect more intensive intervention activities, including:

  • integrating and aligning science and arts activities within the curriculum
  • consulting with teachers about classroom integration
  • coaching in classrooms on implementation of science and arts activities
  • providing resources that teachers and families can keep and use in the classroom and at home
  • facilitating communication with families to encourage increase use of science and arts activities and institutions in the area
  • increasing access by expanding the program into school-based pre-k classrooms

For more information about this project, please contact: Dr. Nicole Patton Terry (npterry@gsu.edu) or Mario Pickens (mpickens1@student.gsu.edu).

For more information on Grow Up Great Atlanta, please click here: https://www.pnc.com/en/about-pnc/corporate-responsibility/grow-up-great.html

The goal of Health Policy Research Scholars is to create a large cadre of diverse doctoral students from a wide variety of research-focused disciplines—students whose research, connections, and leadership will inform and influence policy toward a Culture of Health. This program is designed for doctoral students from any academic discipline (e.g., urban planning, political science, economics, ethnography, education, social work, sociology) in a research-focused program.

For more information about this project, please contact: Dr. Nicole Patton Terry (npterry@gsu.edu) or Adrian Neely (aneely8@student.gsu.edu).

For more information about Robert Wood Foundation Health Policy Research Scholars, please click here:http://www.rwjf.org/en/how-we-work/grants-and-grant-programs.html

The K-3 T&A Project is a continuation of an ongoing partnership between the Rollins Center for Language and Literacy at The Atlanta Speech School and the Urban Child Study Center in the College of Education & Human Development at Georgia State University.

The purpose of the K-3 T&A Project is to create innovative educational language and literacy content, learning activities and assessments based on instructional  design methods and adult learning theories for teachers of children in Kindergarten through 3rd grade.

For more information about this project, please contact: Dr. Nicole Patton Terry (npterry@gsu.edu) or Christa Haring (charing@gsu.edu).

The CSD-REP is a partnership  between the Office of the Superintendent of Schools and the Urban Child Study Center in the College of Education & Human Development at Georgia State University.

The purpose of  CSD-REP is to support the City Schools of Decatur in achieving its goal of building "the foundation for all children to be their best, achieve their dreams, and make the world a better place." The primary goal of CSD-REP is to evaluate how well CSD implements the processes and procedures around ensuing compliance, effective instruction, student achievement, and parent engagement in its special education program.

CSD-REP will accomplish the following:

  • examine the academic, social, and behavioral outcomes
  • examine administrative processes and procedures related to the success for students in Tiers 2-4
  • examine teacher factors related to the success of student in Tiers 2-4
  • examine parent and community factors related to the success of students in Tiers 2-4

For more information about this project, please contact: Dr. Kevin Fortner (cfortner2@gsu.edu) or  Dr. Nicole Patton Terry (npterry@gsu.edu).

The Partnership for School Readiness and Achievement from Age 3 to Grade 3 focuses on collecting and analyzing school readiness and achievement data on students in preschool, pre-k and Kindergarten through third grade classrooms.

The Atlanta 323 Team will:

  • build an integrated longitudinal database linking school readiness and achievement data from preschool through 3rd grade
  • engage early childhood education providers to gather data for the database
  • conduct initial P3 research studies
  • establish design teams to develop and study solutions to challenges that emerge from the findings

For more information about this project, please contact: Dr. Nicole Patton Terry (npterry@gsu.edu),  Dr. Kevin Fortner (cfortner2@gsu.edu) or Dr. Gary Bingham (gbingham@gsu.edu).