According to Richard Allington in his book Summer Learning Loss, Closing the Rich/Poor Reading Achievement Gap, "if schools held book fairs in the spring where children from low-income families could select 10-15 books that they wanted to read, this simple intervention could go a long way toward closing the reading gap."
What is the reading gap? Generally, it is when students don't read at their grade level. Socioeconomic factors can play a role in a students reading achievement and the gap between students who read proficiently and those that do not. Recent research by Karl Alexander and Doris Entwisle at Johns Hopkins University found that reading growth did not differ between rich and poor children during the school year in grades 1-9 . By 9th grade, however, the reading achievement gap was about three years wide. Most of the reading achievement gap at 9th grade was due to summer reading loss. While middle-class children increased their reading achievement during the summer according to the Johns Hopkins researchers, the reading of poorer children declined, resulting in a gap that got 3 months wider every year.
Allingont's three year study found that 1st and 2nd-grade students who chose books from spring book fairs scored significantly higher on state reading achievement tests than students in a control group.
We can help! Our bookfairs allow students to choose books for $1 each! Students from all socio-economic levels can afford a few books of their own and teachers can afford to add books to their classrooms. Contact us for more information on how we can get a book fair going at