Research Library

Our mission at Halifax Learning is to provide evidence-based programs that deliver effective, sustainable results to all students, regardless of learning differences. Halifax Learning invests in ongoing research to further enhance program delivery. The documents sited below are research supporting the effectiveness of our Gold-Standard, reading intervention program, SpellRead spanning from 2003-2017.  This library showcases the effectiveness of not only the SpellRead program, but also the expert delivery model and track record of student success achieved by the team at Halifax Learning.

For a comprehensive overview of the SpellRead program, download our free White Paper. The White paper describes how we bridge the oral language–written language to develop reading, writing and spelling skills.


The Effects of Age and Sublexical Automaticity on Reading Outcomes for Students with Reading Disabilities, 2017

By Dr. Jamie Metsala (MSVU), and Margaret David (Cole Harbour Foundation)

  • Automaticity with sublexical patterns made a unique contribution to fluency outcomes in this sample of students with reading disabilities.  
  • In the context of the reading program examined, all age groups made significant and meaningful standard score gains on reading fluency. 
  • Young children did not score higher than the two older groups on measures of oral reading fluency or reading comprehension; bringing into question conclusions drawn from prevention versus intervention studies.

An Examination of Reading Skills and Reading Outcomes for Youth Involved in Crime Prevention Program, 2017

By Dr. Jamie Metsala (MSVU), Margaret David and Sarah Brown (The Cole Harbour Foundation)


What Works Clearing House 2007

  • In 2007, the What Works Clearinghouse, funded by the U.S. Department of Education, released its findings of a massive undertaking of rating the top reading programs available today. The following PDF explains the strengths of numerous programs and gives the comparison of success. SpellRead tops the list at number one. 

Evaluation of SpellRead by Florida Center for Reading Research (Wahl, 2006)

The FCRR identified SpellRead as a scientifically based reading intervention program, identifying the following strengths, among others:

  • Multiple and varied phonemic awareness and phonics activities are included
  • The format is explicit, highly structured, step-by-step
  • Intense focus on fluency was noted
  • Review begins each phase to ensure a firm foundation
  • Teacher’s Manual is clear and easy to follow
  • Consistent questioning during Share Read guides students’ focus
  • Written responses clarify whether students understand what they have read
  • Studies demonstrate substantial gains across grade levels and among students with differing ability levels
  • No weaknesses were noted
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Power4Kids, 2003-2007

  • Power4Kids is the largest clinical trial of reading program to date. This evaluation assessed the effectiveness of four widely used programs for elementary school students with reading problems. Spell Read P.A.T. was the only Canadian program  among the 4 reading programs chosen.

    Schools spend significant funds and resources on programs, products, and services that aim to improve reading skills. Yet there is little research evidence on what interventions work best, and for whom. To carry out this evaluation, Mathematica collaborated with the Florida Center for Reading Research, the American Institutes for Research, the Allegheny Intermediate Unit, and the Haan Foundation for Children. More information can be found here: