Do Book Giveaway Programs Promote the Home Literacy Environment and Children’s Literacy-Related Behavior and Skills?
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionBondt, M.D, Willenberg, I. A., Bus A.G. (2020) Do Book Giveaway Programs Promote the Home Literacy Environment and Children’s Literacy-Related Behavior and Skills? Review of Educational Research, 90 (3), pp. 349-375. 10.3102/0034654320922140
Book giveaway programs provide free books to families with infants to encourage caregivers to begin reading to their children during infancy. This meta-analysis of 44 studies retrieved from 43 articles tests the effects of three major book giveaway programs: Bookstart (n = 11), Reach Out and Read (n = 18), and Imagination Library (n = 15). Effect sizes were aggregated within two domains—home literacy environment and literacy-related behavior and skills—before being averaged across studies. The findings corroborate the assumption that book giveaway programs promote children’s home literacy environment (d = 0.31, 95% CI [0.23, 0.38], k = 30), which subsequently results in more interest in reading and children scoring higher on measures of literacy-related skills prior to and during the early years of school (d = 0.29, 95% CI [0.23, 0.35], k = 23).