Reading growth on the Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) in coastal Kenya was connected to commonly considered socioeconomic status (SES) variables. Initially, using a socioeconomics determinants model to understand its effect on health and literacy, the research then moved toward a sociocultural determinants model that provides more context around socioeconomic status. Reading items, such as letter-sound recognition, which showed growth, suggested the value of the transfer of home language literacy to school literacy learning in the context of Kiswahili and Kigiriama.