Home > About RIF > Literacy Issues > Giving Children Access to Print Materials Improves Reading Performance

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Send
  • Print

Giving Children Access to Print Materials Improves Reading Performance

What impact, if any, does access to print material have on our children's reading? In an unprecedented, near- exhaustive search uncovering 11,000 reports and analyzing 108 of the most relevant studies, children's book lending and ownership programs were shown to have positive behavioral, educational, and psychological outcomes.

The study, "Children's Access to Print Material and Education-Related Outcomes," was commissioned by Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) and conducted by Learning Point Associates, a nonprofit education research and consulting organization and affiliate of American Institutes for Research (AIR).

The meta-analysis found that access to print materials:

  • Improves children's reading performance. Findings from the rigorous studies suggest that providing children with print materials helps them read better. Among the studies reviewed, kindergarten students showed the biggest increase in reading performance.
  • Proves instrumental in helping children learn the basics of reading. Providing children with reading materials allows 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 to more shared reading between parents and children. Children receiving books also read more frequently and for longer periods of time.
  • Produces improved attitudes toward reading and learning among children. Children with greater access to books and other print materials—through either borrowing books or receiving books to own—express more enjoyment of books, reading, and academics. 

One-Page Summary

Full Report

About Learning Point Associates
Learning Point Associates is a nationally recognized, nonprofit education research and consulting organization with 25 years of experience working with educators and policymakers to transform education systems and student learning. The organization's reputation is built on a solid foundation of designing and conducting rigorous and relevant education research and evaluations; developing and delivering tools, services, and resources targeted at pressing education issues; and analyzing and synthesizing education policy trends and practices.

Since 1984, Learning Point Associates has operated the regional education laboratory serving the Midwest—initially known as the North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL) and now known as REL Midwest. Learning Point Associates also operates the National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality, National Charter School Resource Center, Great Lakes East Comprehensive Center, and Great Lakes West Comprehensive Center. Learning Point Associates became an affiliate of AIR on August 1, 2010

Giving Children Access to Print Materials Improves Reading Performance