Meta-analysis Shows Giving Children Books Improves Reading

In a meta-analysis of 11,000 reports and 108 studies, a new report commissioned by Reading is Fundamental concludes that children’s book lending and ownership programs lead to positive behavioral, educational, and psychological outcomes. The study, Children’s Access to Print Materials and Education-Related Outcomes,  conducted by Learning Point Associates, found that access to print materials:

  • Improves children’s reading performance: Kindergarten students showed the biggest increase in reading performance.
  • Are instrumental in helping children learn the basics of reading: Providing children with reading materials allowed them to develop basic reading skills such as letter and word identification, phonemic awareness, and completion of sentences.
  • Causes children to read more and for longer lengths of time: Giving children print materials leads them to read more frequently and for greater amounts of time.
  • Produces improved attitudes toward reading and learning: When children have greater access to books and other print materials–through either borrowing books or receiving books to own-they develop more positive attitudes toward reading and learning.

They meta-analysis also found positive relationships between access to books and motivation to and interest in reading; writing performance; language development; and academic performance in subjects other than reading after performance.

For more information:

  • Read the EdWeek Inside School Research blog coverage