Examining Literacy in Camden: RFA to Study American Reading Company Initiative

Bridging the worlds of research and educational policy and practice for over 20 years, Research for Action conducts rigorous studies designed to assist in nationwide efforts to improve student outcomes and strengthen schools and communities. Now RFA turns its attention to American Reading Company's 100 Book Challenge and ACTION 100 initiatives to examine compelling literacy gains in Camden, New Jersey.

Efforts to improve literacy have become a focus of education reform recently as both policymakers and practitioners have recognized the far-reaching implications literacy has on students’ learning and career readiness. Research for Action (RFA) has developed significant expertise on this issue as well. Our expertise helped us to secure an evaluation of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s work to create formative assessment tools for use by literacy and math teachers.

RFA is conducting an evaluation of another literacy intervention, this time by American Reading Company. You may have heard of its 100 Book Challenge, an effort to encourage reading and literacy, which was adopted by thousands of schools across the country. American Reading Company has expanded that effort to implement ACTION 100, a comprehensive intervention to improve literacy that aligns with the Common Core State Standards. As it rolls out its 100 Book Challenge and ACTION 100 initiatives in 19 elementary schools in Camden, New Jersey, RFA will study its progress and document its effect on raising students’ literacy levels. RFA will also provide case studies of two elementary schools that have implemented the ACTION 100 model to provide a portrait of successful schools, to identify important conditions of their success, and to provide a road map and a set of lessons that can be used to create other successful ACTION 100 schools. These schools were awarded School Improvement Grants totaling $5.4 million and American Reading Company is serving as the lead partner in program implementation.

“We are delighted to be working with Research in Action to examine the literacy gains in Camden,” said Jane Hileman, Founder & CEO of American Reading Company. “Through these efforts we aim to improve our programs, promote educational reform, and improve outcomes for more students across the country, particularly those disadvantaged by poverty.”

For any press related inquiries, please contact news@americanreading.com

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