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Children’s Vocabulary Project

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),


We are scientists from Boys Town National Research Hospital, located in Iowa City, Iowa. The National Institutes of Health are funding our exciting study, entitled The Children’s Vocabulary Project.


The project will answer these questions:

·       How does vocabulary learning change over time?

·       How does vocabulary knowledge improve reading?

·       How do brain functions, like attention and memory, affect vocabulary growth?


Answers to these questions will help us design better instructions for learners of all levels.


Who We Need

·       5- to 7-year-old English-speaking children who have trouble learning language and don’t have Autism Spectrum Disorder, hearing conditions, or Intellectual Disability.


·       These children may:

·       Talk less than other children their age

·       Have difficulty expressing thoughts

·       Have difficulty following directions

·       Use fewer vocabulary words than other children their age

·       Make many grammar errors

·       Demonstrate problems communicating or learning to read that worry you or your child’s teacher

·       Have family members who had difficulty with speech, language, or reading


What We Need

·       One visit to determine if your child is the type of learner we’re looking for.


·       Three visits every year for four years. The three visits will be scheduled over the course of 1.5 weeks, and take place around the same time every year.


·       Each visit will last approximately one hour. Visits will involve computer tasks and language tests designed to be fun for children.


What We Offer

·       Compensation: Your child will be paid $20 per hour for all visits. Payment each year is roughly $75. Total payment is about $300 over four years.


·       Convenience: We come to you. Our testing van will meet you at your residence or another public site that works for you (e.g., library parking lot, community center). Visits are scheduled at a time that is easy for you.


·       Consultation: Children’s test scores will be shared with parents. A speech-language therapist will be available to talk with you about your child’s language abilities.


Your child’s school is supporting our project by giving this letter to all first-grade parents.


This is not an Ames Community School District publication, nor is it in any way endorsed or sponsored by the District. This publication is being provided only to inform you of other community activities and opportunities.


Our team does not have your name or any information about you or your family. If you are interested, please contact us directly. You may email or call 319-338-5213 to ask questions or to schedule a visit. You may also check out our website at for more information. If you do not wish to participate, you do not need to do anything.



Thank you for considering this invitation!

Event Information

  • Date(s) August 27, 2018 12:00 AM – August 1, 2020 12:00 AM
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