Each year, Book Trust students and teachers complete a survey that measures the impact of the program on students’ reading skills, attitudes, and behaviors.
The 2013 surveys received a higher than historical average response rate and provided a second year of comparison group data, allowing us to draw stronger conclusions about the unique impacts of the Book Trust program.
The data provide strong evidence that allowing kids to choose the books they are interested in and want to read increases their excitement for reading. The increased enjoyment of reading translates into more positive attitudes toward reading, more productive reading behaviors, increased skills, expanded interests, improved academic performance, and increased motivation to learn. The individual engagement in reading supports the development of a classroom culture that further catalyzes excitement and growth. In addition, Book Trust’s reach extends into the home and the summer months, encouraging extended reading time and increased parental and family engagement in reading which further reinforces growth.
The comparison data provide evidence that compared with other reading programs, teachers believe that Book Trust has a greater impact on increasing: attention span while reading, willingness/excitement to read, student respect for books, student enjoyment of reading, student discussion of books, student engagement in other subject areas, and family involvement in reading.
Overall, the survey results demonstrate that, as a result of empowering children from low-income families to choose their own books and build a home library, Book Trust participants like reading more, are reading more, and are becoming better readers. The long-range benefits of strong literacy are innumerable.
An overview analysis of the data completed by Marisa Bueno, a Ph.D. candidate at Stanford University, can be found here.
Our 2012-2013 national results showed:
- Book Trust positively impacted student attitudes about reading. On average across all grade levels, 94% of Book Trust students self-reported that they liked to read. This finding was corroborated by teacher surveys. Book Trust teachers reported that 90% of their students liked to read by the end of the year, an increase of 30% over the course of the year. Comparison group teachers reported that 82% of their students enjoyed reading by the end of the year, a 21% change over the course of the year;
- Book Trust students are more likely to read for fun outside of school time than comparison group students—42.2% of Book Trust students reported reading one hour+ per day outside of school as compared to 33.8% of comparison group students and 54.9% of Book Trust parents reported that their child read for an hour+ per day outside of school as compared to only 34.4% of comparison group parents;
- Book Trust positively impacts reading behaviors in the home—more than half (53.3%) of Book Trust students reported that their parents read their Book Trust books and 48.7% reported that their siblings read their books. In addition, 72.4% of Book Trust parents reported reading with their child at home compared to 61.7% of comparison group parents; and
- Teachers reported that 9.7% more 2nd and 3rd grade Book Trust students progressed to reading at grade level over the course of the year than did comparison group students.
Specific statistics supporting all of these findings are included here in the 2012-2013 National Results.
Book Trust conducted an external evaluation to examine the impact of the Book Trust program on students’ reading proficiency as measured by the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS). This external report highlights the impact of Book Trust initiatives on student growth and student self-perceptions and habits about reading in Bryan ISD and College Station ISD during the program years of 2008-2012. Click here for a one-page summary.
As indicated in the report written by Dr. Cynthia Williams at Texas Christian University and Dr. Jimmy Byrd at the University of Northern Texas, overall, the Book Trust initiatives as implemented in Bryan ISD and College Station ISD at Kemp Elementary and College Hills Elementary had many positive reading outcomes on the students who participated in the program. Most students self-reported:
- Their reading skills had improved as a result of receiving Book Trust books
- They enjoyed reading and sharing books with friends in their free time
- They preferred to read for an hour or more each day
- A variety of family members also enjoyed reading their Book Trust collections
- Their Book Trust books had become very special to them
With regard to growth, statistical analyses revealed that participating in Book Trust initiatives over time was correlated with more positive performance on statewide literacy assessments. Specifically:
- By the third year of participation in the Book Trust program, student participants outperformed their non-Book Trust peers.
Specific statistics supporting all of these findings are included here.