Alaska children enrolled in Imagination Library (IL) for at least one year are more enthusiastic about reading, are read to more often, are perceived by parents to be better prepared for kindergarten, and live in homes with more children’s books. Those are among the findings of an evaluation conducted by two University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) researchers.
Drs. Hilary Seitz and Robert Capuozzo of UAA’s College of Education designed and conducted the study to determine the impact of Imagination Library on children and families. Families were surveyed in two groups.
Survey 1: Parents of new enrollees in Imagination Library were given surveys before their children began receiving books.
Survey 2: Researchers surveyed parents whose children had been enrolled in Imagination Library for at least one year.
For simplicity, Survey 1 respondents are referred to as “new enrollees” and Survey 2 participants are referred to as “Imagination Library families.” Both groups included urban and rural residents.
The findings include the following:
- Children’s books in the home: 94% of the Imagination Library families reported 20 or more children’s books at home, compared to about 60% of new enrollees. Strikingly, nearly 25% of new enrollee parents reported 10 or fewer children’s books at home.
- Frequency of reading: In the IL families, 74% of parents read to their children daily. Of the new enrollee families, 64% of parents read to their children daily.
- Enthusiasm about reading: More than 80% of the Imagination Library families report their child is very enthusiastic, and less than 5% report their child is only somewhat or not at all enthusiastic. Although 62% of new enrollee parents report high enthusiasm, more than 14% are somewhat or not at all enthusiastic.
- Readiness for kindergarten (not asked of new enrollees): Almost all – more than 93% – of the Imagination Library families feel their child is more prepared for kindergarten because of Imagination Library. More than 90% of them had recommended Imagination Library to others.
- View complete report: First-Year Evaluation of Imagination Library Program (2009)
- View 2011 Second-Year Evaluation Results