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Impact before School*

Children under age 6 whose family members read to them 3 days a week:

  • New Jersey - 42%

  • First Library  - 75%

Impact after School*

Five year-olds who performed better than expected/much better than expected:


  • First Library graduates - 64%

  • Nonparticipants - 11%


  • First Library graduates - 48%

  • Nonparticipants - 10%

Impact in High Risk Homes

A 2015 Department of Education, Dollywood Foundation and Parents as Teachers study of children in high risk environments showed a

  • 35% increase in families with 26 or more books in the home

  • 29% increase in children pretending to read books once or more a day

  • 22% increase in family reading books together once or more a day

  • 19% increase in families who own library cards

Innovative Approaches to Literacy

Results of the Innovative Approaches to Literacy Project

Childhood Illiteracy**

Fourth grade 

Below proficient

  • New Jersey - 51%

  • USA - 65%

Eighth grade

Below proficient

  • New Jersey - 53%

  • USA - 65%


Children have stronger early reading skills.Children are more prepared for school.Fosters strong speech and vocabulary.Children develop essential life skills.Children begin school with print and book component concepts.Increased parental engagement and reading.Increase in book ownership.Excitement about books and reading.Increase in library patronage.Predictor of future academic success. 

Fourth grade reading achievement levels - NJ

Proficiency in reading by the end of third grade is a crucial marker in a child's educational development. In the early years, learning to read is a critical component of education. But beginning in fourth grade, children use reading to learn other subjects, and therefore, mastery of reading becomes a critical component in their ability to keep up academically. Children who reach fourth grade without being able to read proficiently are more likely to drop out of high school, reducing their earnings potential and chances for success.



Below basic



At or above basic



Below proficient 


At or above proficient 

Eighth grade reading achievement levels - NJ



Below basic



At or above basic



Below proficient 


At or above proficient 

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