Monday, November 24, 2014

Does Reading During the Summer Build Reading Skills

There are large gaps in reading skills by family income among
s chool-aged children in the United States.  Correlational evidence 
suggests that reading skills are strongly related to the amount of
reading students do outside of school.  Experimental evidence testing
 whether this relationship is causal is lacking.  

This study reports the 
results from a randomized evaluation in 463 classrooms of a summer reading program
called Project READS, which induces students to read more during the 
summer by mailing ten books to them, one per week.  

intent-to-treat estimates show that the program increased reading 
during the summer. The estimates also show significant effects on reading 
comprehension test scores in the fall for third grade girls but not
 for third grade boys or second graders of either gender. 

 that take advantage of within-classroom random assignment and 
cross-classroom variation in treatment effects show evidence that
 reading more books generates increases in reading comprehension
 skills, particularly when students read carefully enough to be able
to answer basic questions about the books they read, and particularly
 for girls.

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