Delayed effects of a low-cost and large-scale summer reading intervention on elementary school children’s reading comprehension

Citation:

Kim, J. S., Guryan, J., White, T. G., Quinn, D. M., Capotosto, L., & Kingston, H. C. (2016). Delayed effects of a low-cost and large-scale summer reading intervention on elementary school children’s reading comprehension. Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness , (just-accepted), 00-00 . Taylor & Francis.

Abstract:

To improve the reading comprehension outcomes of children in high-poverty schools, policymakers need to identify reading interventions that show promise of effectiveness at scale. This study evaluated the effectiveness of a low-cost and large-scale summer reading intervention that provided comprehension lessons at the end of the school year and stimulated home-based summer reading routines with narrative and informational books. We conducted a randomized controlled trial involving 59 elementary schools, 463 classrooms, and 6,383 second and third graders and examined outcomes on the North Carolina End-of-Grade (EOG) reading comprehension test administered nine months after the intervention, in the children’s third- or fourth-grade year. We found that on this delayed outcome, the treatment had a statistically significant impact on children’s reading comprehension, improving performance by .04 SD(standard deviation) overall and .05 SD in high-poverty schools. We also found, in estimates from an instrumental variables analysis, that children’s participation in home-based summer book reading routines improved reading comprehension. The cost-effectiveness ratio for the intervention compared favorably to existing compensatory education programs that target high-poverty schools.

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