Independent Evaluations List

Independent evaluations prove that Raising A Reader makes a positive and lasting impact

Research shows that family engagement directly affects academic achievement. To date, thirty-two independent evaluations prove that Raising A Reader makes a positive and lasting impact, significantly improving both family reading behavior, parent-child bonding and kindergarten readiness across diverse culture and language demographics. Please click on the evaluations for details.

Child Trends (2014)
Affiliate Agency
Innovative Approaches to Literacy
External Evaluator
Child Trends
Year
2014
N=
3,459

Families who participated showed a statistically significant increase in creating literacy-rich home environments:

  • The percentage of families who shared books three or more times per week increased from 61% to 78%.
  • The percentage of families who spent sixty minutes or more sharing books increased from 41% to 59%.
  • The percentage of children who asked to be read to five or more times per week increased from 14% to 28%.
  • The percentage of families who had routines for sharing books with their children increased from 25% to 38%.
  • Families who had more than ten books in the home increased from 39% to 57%.
University of Texas Health Science Center (2014)
Affiliate Agency
University of Texas Health Science Center
External Evaluator
Jason L. Anthony, et. al (University of Houston)
Year
2014
N=
617
  1. Raising A Reader + Family Engagement Workshops* demonstrated significant impacts for English Speaking Families on measures of oral language (ts = 1.81 to 2.51, .05 < ps < .01)
    • Vocabulary (p < .05)
    • Grammar (p < .001)
    • Phonological Awareness (p < .05)
  2. Raising A Reader + Family Engagement Workshops* also showed significant impacts for English Speaking Families on measures of print knowledge:
    • Letter Knowledge (p <.01)
    • Memory for Knowledge (p < .05)
  3. Raising A Reader + Family Nights (FN) benefited children who started preschool lagging behind in school readiness (ts = 1.64 – 2.49, ps < .05) suggesting that this RAR model offers hope for closing the achievement gap.

*Raising A Reader + Family Engagement Workshops: Raising A Reader book bag rotation augmented with four family workshops that focused on research-based interactive reading strategies.

Fayetteville State University (2014)
Affiliate Agency
Fayetteville State University
External Evaluator
Shirley L. Chao, et. al (Fayetteville State University)
Year
2014
N=
65; 158
  1. Families who participated in RAR showed a statistically significant increase in creating literacy-rich home environments:
    • The percentage of families who had routines for sharing books with their children increased from 47% to 65%
    • Parents who asked children questions about books increased from 53% to 72%.
    • Parents who reported that their child did not pay attention to the story decreased from 8% to 1.5%.
    • Families who had more than 30 books in the home increased from 51% to 57%.
    • Families who viewed instructional videos such as the RAR Read Aloud: Share A Book With Me DVD increased from 14% to 67% and family participation in family workshops increased from 5-19%.
  2. The results of a pre/post PPVT (Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test) revealed positive effects following implementation of RAR. Results were based on scores of 148 children:
    • 68% of RAR children made significant gains in vocabulary based on the Pre and Post Growth Scale (GSV) while control groups showed only 39% of non-RAR children making significant gains.
Calhoun Intermediate School District (2013)
Affiliate Agency
Calhoun Intermediate School District
External Evaluator
Western Michigan University – Jianping Shen, PhD., John E. Sandberg Professor of Education
Year
2013
N=
300
  1. Families who participated in RAR showed a statistically significant increase in creating literacy-rich home environments:
    • The percentage of parents/guardians who checked out children’s materials to take home increased from 47% to 54.5%.
    • The percentage of families having more than 30 books at home increased from 50.2% to 60.2%.
    • Parents/guardians who read to children for 10-15 minutes daily increased from 26.7% to 32.3%.
    • Parents who asked children questions about books increased from 54.8% to 64% and children who asked questions about books increased from 55.1% to 62.7%.
  2.  In comparison to non-RAR children, RAR children scored 4.6 points higher on letter identification (based on a 54-point Likert scale), 4.6 points higher on sound identification (based on a 54-point Likert scale), 5.1 points higher on concepts of print (based on a 22-point Likert scale), and 1.4 points higher on Clay Read (based on a 22-point Likert scale).
  3. RAR children, particularly those from immigrant families where English is not the primary language, showed an increase in vocabulary, language development, and literacy skills.
Raising A Reader Aspen to Parachute (2013)
Affiliate Agency
Raising A Reader Aspen to Parachute
External Evaluator
N/A
Year
2013
N=
N/A
  1. Reading time among low-income families increased by 22% from October – May. Families on average read aloud together about 6.5 days/week.
  2. While reading stories with their young children, parents reported a 23% increase in the number of times the child “read” the story to the parent by memorization or through pictures. This is an indication of key early literacy fundamentals including comprehension and understanding story sequence and picture/story relationships.
  3. Parents reported a 19% increase in the frequency of story discussions during reading times (probing story details and asking questions.)
  4. At the end of the school year, 80% of families reported they were now checking out library books with their child, an increase from 43% in September.

Garfield Re-2 Schools (based in Rifle):
Based on the Garfield County School District Re02 assessment that measures a child’s preparation for reading success, Raising A Reader (RAR) children in kindergarten scored 10 percentage points higher than non-RAR children.

Garfield 16 School District (based in Aspen):
By grade 3, children with a RAR background and support from the Colorado Preschool Program (CPP) significantly outscored non-RAR/CPP children on literacy proficiency. Only 27% of RAR/CCP third graders tested in the low literacy category.

Southwest Human Development (2013)
Affiliate Agency
Southwest Human Development
External Evaluator
Research and Evaluation Staff of Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust
Year
2013
N=
N/A*
  1. At the start of the program, less than half of the participants (47%) indicated they had a reading routine with their child. By the end of the program, 86% of participants reported they had a reading routine established.
  2. The number of minutes spent per time reading increased from 35% to 53% of parents reporting that they spent between 11-30 minutes reading with their child.
  3. Families increased their number of visits to the library with more than half (54%) visiting the library one or more times in the past month (an increase from 30%).
  4. After participating in the program, 90% of parents reported that their child asked to be read to.
  5. Non-mothers were as successful as mothers in supporting and developing reading routines with the children.
  6. RAR has statistically greater impact on Burmese, Nepalese, and French speaking families than Spanish and English speaking families.

* It was reported that at the conclusion of the grant period, RAR reached over 1,000 children but there was no indication of how many families took the survey.

Nonie Lesaux & Andrea Anushko, Harvard Graduate School of Education (2010)
Affiliate Agency
Raising A Reader Massachusetts
External Evaluator
Nonie Lesaux & Andrea Anushko, Harvard Graduate School of Education
Year
2010
N=
98; 121

Parents in the Raising A Reader group reported reading every day to their children more often than did parents in the comparison group at post-test.

 

Evaluation Solutions (2009)
Affiliate Agency
First 5 Shasta, CA
External Evaluator
Evaluation Solutions
Year
2009
N=
634
  1. More parents reported having a regular time for reading (p<0.0001).
  2. More parents reported reading or sharing books with their children more frequently (three or more times a week) by the post-test (p<0.033).
University of North Carolina, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Center (2009)
Affiliate Agency
North Carolina Partnership for Children – Smart Start
External Evaluator
University of North Carolina, Frank Porter Graham child Development Center
Year
2009
N=
662
  1. Significant increase in girls sharing books with parents
  2. Significant increase in the number of children’s books in minority households following Raising A Reader. This was primarily true for African American parents and parents of children in classes with high subsidized care enrollment.
  3. Significant limitations of the study, no control group, no independent evaluation. Concerns regarding ceiling effect were noted. Evaluation primarily of 3-5 star rating programs, unclear if quality instructional practices masked possible effects of RAR.
Organizational Research Services (2008)
Affiliate Agency
Washington State Thrive by Five
External Evaluator
Organizational Research Services, Seattle, WA
Year
2008
N=
190
  1. 82% increase in knowledge about the importance of building literacy skills from birth.
  2. Significant increase in the number of parents who recognize the importance of sharing books to increase reading readiness. (p<0.001)
  3. Significant increase in exposure to books and everyday use of literacy activities. (p<0.001)
Organizational Research Services (2008)
Affiliate Agency
Washington State Thrive by Five
External Evaluator
Organizational Research Services, Seattle, WA
Year
2008
N=
148
  1. Significant increase in parents understanding of the importance of sharing ideas. (p<0.001)
  2. Significant increase in parental access and exposure to books. (p<0.001)
  3. 68% of parents reported establishing a regular routine for reading.
  4. 50% of parents increased everyday use of activities to promote literacy.
NPC Research (2008)
Affiliate Agency
Multnomah County Public Library
External Evaluator
NPC Research, Portland, OR
Year
2008
N=
404
  1. The number of parents who read to their child at least three times per week increased by 46% over the previous level.
  2. Parents reported using positive read aloud practices 63% more than before RAR.
  3. Children chose to read books 33% more often than other activities with an increase of 31% in frequency of asking to be read to.
  4. 52% of families reported that RAR books were used by more than one child, with 20% of those families reporting that the books were used by three or more children.
Evaluation Solutions (2008)
Affiliate Agency
First 5 Shasta-McConnell Foundation
External Evaluator
Evaluation Solutions, Redding, CA
Year
2008
N=
2976
  1. Significant increase in parents having a regular time for reading (p<0.01). Increases were greater for respondents with no previous RAR experience, with a high school education or less, with some college, with an annual family income of $0 to $40,000 and $40,001 to $60,000.
  2. A significant increase in the number of books parents reported having in the home with 5% more parents reporting having over 10 children’s books in the home. (p<0.01)
  3. Parents reported reading or sharing books with their children more frequently, three or more times a week by the post-test. (p<0.03)
  4. More parents reported increasing their reading time to 20 minutes or more (p<0.01). More parents reported reading or sharing books with their children more frequently, three or more times per week by the post-test. (p<0.03)
Thomas Keifer Consulting (2008)
Affiliate Agency
First 5 San Luis Obispo, CA
External Evaluator
Thomas Keifer Consulting
Year
2008
N=
21

Child behaviors indicating interest in reading and sharing books increased from pre- to post-survey (“My child turned the pages of the book”: 64% pre to 86% post; “My child asked questions about the book”; 3% pre to 38% post; “My child read the book to me or told me a story about the pictures”: 5% pre to 19% post).

Evaluation Solutions (2008)
Affiliate Agency
First 5 Shasta, CA
External Evaluator
Evaluation Solutions
Year
2008
N=
585
  1. There was a significant increase among respondents reporting having a regular time for reading (p<0.019).
  2. Respondents were more likely to increase their regular reading time to twenty minutes or more (p<0.003).
Harder & Co. Community Research (2008)
Affiliate Agency
First 5 San Joaquin County
External Evaluator
Harder & Co. Community Research, San Francisco, CA
Year
2008
N=
1628
  1. Significantly more parents reported reading to their child most days of the week after participating in RAR.
  2. The proportion of parents that ‘rarely’ or ‘never’ read to their child decreased by three-fold after RAR participation.
  3. Before participating in RAR, English Learner families were significantly less likely to report reading to their child most days or every day compared to English Proficient families.
  4. While a higher proportion of both English Learner and English Proficient families read to their child after participating in RAR, the increase among English Learner families nearly doubled.
Evaluation Solutions (2007)
Affiliate Agency
First 5 Shasta, CA
External Evaluator
Evaluation Solutions
Year
2007
N=
47
  1. There was a significant increase in respondents reporting spending time reading or sharing books with their children three or more times a week.
  2. There was a significant increase among respondents reporting having a regular time for reading. This increase was even greater for respondents with a high school education or less.
Pacific Consulting Group (2007)
Affiliate Agency
Roaring Fork Raising A Reader, Roaring Fork, CO
External Evaluator
Pacific Consulting Group
Year
2007
N=
285
  1. The percentage of parents who read or share books with their children three or more times a week significantly increased by 7 percentage points, from 74% to 81%.
  2. The percentage of parents who use any library services significantly increased by 17 percentage points, from 72% to 89%.
Bentham and Associates (2007)
Affiliate Agency
Smart Start Cherokee County
External Evaluator
Bentham and Associates, Tecumseh, OK
Year
2007
N=
19 classrooms
  1. Proportion of Native American families reporting that they had a regular routine time for reading increased from 54 to 72%.
  2. Significant increase in times per week reading and times taken to the library. (p<0.5)
  3. Significant increase in the number of books in Native American homes and perceived importance of reading and sharing books. (p<0.05)
  4. The proportion of Native American adults checking out reading materials increased from 8 to 36%.
  5. Program effects with respect to times per week reading, frequency of visiting the library, number of children’s books in the home, and designating a regular time for reading were more pronounced for lower income households ($20,000 per year or less) and for families with lower educational attainment.
Public Policy Research, Portland, OR and Oregon State University (2007)
Affiliate Agency
Multnomah County Public Library
External Evaluator
Public Policy Research, Portland, OR and Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
Year
2007
N=
1586
  1. Book sharing 3x per week increased from 52% to 82%.
  2. Use of positive reading practices increased from 40% to 72%.
  3. Percentage of children who spent time looking at books three times per week increased from 53% to 86%; with an additional increase from 52% to 84% asking for books to be read to them three times per week.
  4. Two or more children benefited from RAR books in the home 53% of the time
Harder & Company Community Research (2007)
Affiliate Agency
First 5 San Joaquin
External Evaluator
Harder & Company Community Research, San Francisco, CA
Year
2007
N=
581
  1. Nearly three-quarters (70.5%) of parents reported reading to their child at least five days a week after participating in the program, compared with less than half (46%) at the start of the program.
  2. Significantly fewer parents reported never reading to their child prior to RAR (28.7%) than subsequent to participating in the program (6.4%). (p<0.05)
  3. RAR participation was associated with a greater than two-fold increase in the proportion of English Learner parents who read to their children most or all days (25.4 to 62.9%).
Deanne Perez-Granados, Lynne Huffman, & Marcia Latzke, CA State University Monterey Bay, Stanford University, Children’s Health Council (2007)
Affiliate Agency
Catholic Charities, Santa Clara County, CA
External Evaluator
Deanne Perez-Granados, Lynne Huffman, & Marcia Latzke, CA State University Monterey Bay, Stanford University, Children’s Health Council
Year
2007
N=
74
  1. Number of days per week mom reads to the child had a positive change score of 0.73 for Raising A Reader families.
  2. Raising A Reader families tended to take their child to the library more often and had a mean change score of 0.54 vs. 0.45 for control families.
  3. Raising A Reader families felt that reading/book-sharing was important for their child.
Lafrance Associates (now LFA Group) (2006)
Affiliate Agency
First 5 Sonoma County Children and Families Commission
External Evaluator
Lafrance Associates (now LFA Group), San Francisco, CA
Year
2006
N=
45
  1. Significant increase in frequency of reading to or sharing books with child five times or more per week. From 37 to 76% from pre- to post-test. (p<0.001)
Essential Services (2006)
Affiliate Agency
Multnomah County Public Library
External Evaluator
Essential Services, Beaverton, OR
Year
2006
N=
33
  1. Overall increase in parent knowledge of why literacy is important.
  2. Increased paternal participation in reading activities.
  3. Increased involvement of other family members.
  4. Increased awareness of culturally-diverse topics and range of potential materials.
  5. Use of reading time to calm over-stimulated children.
  6. Use of book bags as organizing tool for children.
PALS Pre-K Head Start (2005)
Affiliate Agency
United Way South Hampton Roads, VA
External Evaluator
PALS Pre-K Head Start
Year
2005
N=
120
  1. Increase from 31 to 81% performance on print and word awareness subtests of PALS.
  2. Increase of 322% in the number of children who met or exceeded the PALS pre-k letter sounds subtest. (From 23 to 97 students.)
  3. Increase of 112% in number of students who met or exceeded the PALS pre-k beginning sound awareness subtest.
Pacific Consulting Group (2005)
Affiliate Agency
Roaring Fork Colorado Raising A Reader
External Evaluator
Pacific Consulting Group, Palo Alto, CA
Year
2005
N=
137
  1. Percentage of parents reading or sharing books three or more times per week increased from 70 to 84%.
  2. Percentage of parents who have a regular or routine time to share books increased from 65 to 77%.
  3. Percentage of parents who visit the library once per month increased from 23 to 52%.
  4. Percentage of parents who use any library service increased from 69 to 89%.
  5. Percentage of parents who check out children’s materials from the library increased from 50 to 75%.
Pacific Consulting Group (2003)
Affiliate Agency
Home Visiting Nurses, Santa Clara, CA
External Evaluator
Pacific Consulting Group, Palo Alto, CA
Year
2003
N=
198
  1. 12% increase in frequency of reading or sharing stories with child. (p<0.10)
  2. 18% increase in establishing regular routine for reading with child. (p<0.05)
Applied Survey Research (2003)
Affiliate Agency
United Way of the Bay Area, San Francisco County
External Evaluator
Applied Survey Research, Watsonville, CA
Year
2003
N=
214

Overall Early Literacy Scores

  1. RAR children had 20% higher raw mean scores on the FACES assessment than children in the comparison group.
  2. RAR children had an adjusted mean score of 26% higher than children in the comparison group.
  3. RAR mean scores were 43% higher than non-RAR mean scores, when the highest performing school in the study (a non-RAR school) was excluded due to its unique focus on pre-literacy.
  4. Whether the data is analyzed in terms of raw mean scores or adjusted scores, RAR children performed better on the early literacy assessment than children in the comparison group.
  5. On the individual subscales, RAR children had substantially higher pre-reading skills, more story comprehension, and more book knowledge than children in the comparison group.

Parent Reading Practices

  1. The Parent Survey showed a dramatic increase in the percentage of parents who read to their child five or more times a week, from 7% in the pre-survey to 37% in the post-survey, an increase of 471%
  2. Increase from 13% to 26% for English-speaking parents who reportedly read to their children five or more times a week from pre- to post-survey. Spanish and Cantonese speaking parents did not experience the same level of increases in reading five or more times a week to their children.
  3. Increase from 28% to 65% for Cantonese speaking parents who reportedly read to their children three or more times per week from pre- to post-survey.
  4. Before RAR, slightly more than 44% of parents never took their children to the library. After RAR, fewer than 21% reported that they never took their child to the library.
The Christopher Group (2002)
Affiliate Agency
Raising A Reader of Sonoma County, CA
External Evaluator
The Christopher Group
Year
2002
N=
113
  1. Significant increase in frequency of father/stepfather, grandparent, and brother/sister reading to the child (p<0.05).
  2. Significant increase in families’ use of the library for listening to story time with library staff (p<0.05).
Pacific Consulting Group (2001)
Affiliate Agency
Peninsula Community Foundation
External Evaluator
Pacific Consulting Group, Palo Alto, CA
Year
2001
N=
496
  1. Significantly higher performance in book knowledge, comprehension, and print knowledge of English speaking children participating in RAR on the FACES assessment compared to national norms. (p<0.05)
  2. Significantly higher performance in book knowledge, comprehension and print knowledge of Spanish-speaking children on the FACES assessment compared to national norms. (p<0.05)
  3. Significant increase in performance on FACES in book knowledge and comprehension when compared to local Head Start children who did not participate in RAR. (p<0.05)
Pacific Consulting Group (2001)
Affiliate Agency
Peninsula Community Foundation
External Evaluator
Pacific Consulting Group, Palo Alto, CA
Year
2001
N=
467
  1. Significant overall increase in frequency reading to or sharing books with child 3 times or more per week; from 50 to 66%. (p<0.05)
  2. Significant overall increase in percentage of parents who set a regular routine for reading with child; from 71 to 77%. (p<0.05)
  3. Significant overall increase in the frequency of library usage from 17 to 32%. (p<0.05)
  4. Significant overall increase in use of at least one library service from 63 to 76%. (p<0.05)
  5. Mean rating of parent perception of importance of reading for future success from 9.15 to 9.42 (out of 10). (p<0.05)
Pacific Consulting Group (2000)
Affiliate Agency
Peninsula Community Foundation
External Evaluator
Pacific Consulting Group, Palo Alto, CA
Year
2000
N=
266
  1. In the overall group, four of the six reading behaviors showed a significant improvement. Number of times a week an adult read to the child, the child has an at-home reading routine, the number of children’s books at home, and the frequency of visits to the library. (p<0.05) Respondents’ enjoyment in reading to the child showed improvement. (p<0.10)
  2. Low-income respondents showed the same improvements as the overall group as well as an improvement in the number of times a week the child reads to him/herself. The overall improvements seem to be driven by the low-income improvements.
  3. For middle-income respondents, having an at-home reading routine was the only behavior that showed a significant improvement.
  4. Even though only one of the four books in the book bag was in Spanish, the Spanish-speaking respondents showed a significant improvement in all four reading behaviors that improved in the overall group. (p<0.05) The number of times a week the child reads him/ herself showed a significant improvement. (p<0.10)
  5. The number of times a week the child reads him/herself showed a somewhat significant improvement. (p<0.05)

Get Involved

Support Raising A Reader

Make a donation today to increase reading habits for children and families.

Give us your time

There are opportunities to volunteer no matter where you are located.

Partner with us

Join the group of agencies that deliver the program to their communities.