A Measurable Success
To better understand the impact of access to books on overall literacy, the Literate Earth Project (LEP) began measuring student progress using the Early Graded Reading Assessment (EGRA) Assessment in early 2017. The EGRA assessment measures attributes such as reading comprehension, letter-sound knowledge, and letter-name knowledge across seven different sections. Assessments were conducted at schools with access to a Literate Earth Project library, and schools which did not have access. This practice ensures that we can truly compare and measure the impact of access to a Literate Earth Project library. Furthermore, upon assessment LEP made note of various individual attributes of the students being tested, including age, gender, parents’ highest level of educational attainment, and whether or not the student had access to books at home.
During our analysis, we found that students with access to a Literate Earth Project library performed on average 3.6% higher on the EGRA assessment than students without access to a LEP library. However, since all students saw their test scores increased over the reporting period, we decided to put an emphasis on overall score growth. When applying this lens to our analysis, we discovered that students with access to a LEP library were able to increase their overall scores by 4.8%, while students without access increased their scores by 2.9%. This means that not only did students with access to Literate Earth Project libraries have higher scores, they were also able to increase their scores faster. Furthermore, on the section which measured letter-sound knowledge (the ability to correctly identify the sound a letter makes) students with access to a LEP library had a 5.8% higher growth rate than students without access. This is a key metric, as letter-sound knowledge has been identified as a key predictor of future spelling and reading abilities.
While we’re pleased with the results of our assessments, moving forward we’re planning on growing the pool of students being measured, and expanding our analysis to better understand how other attributes impact student literacy rates.
If you’re interested in reading the full report on the assessments, you can find it here.