Date of Conferral

1-1-2009

Degree

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

School

Education

Advisor

Lisa Reason

Abstract

Very little research has been conducted on the impact of the Imagination Library, a Tennessee based reading program, on student reading achievement. Therefore, the purpose of this cross-sectional explanatory study was to test whether Imagination Library program participation had an impact on reading achievement for kindergarten students from 3 rural elementary schools. The theoretical basis for this study was Vygotsky's sociocultural theory, the process of scaffolding, and language learning models. ANOVA was used to test the hypothesis that reading achievement for participants was significantly different from nonparticipants and was also used to test the hypotheses of relationships between reading achievement and gender and socioeconomic status. Spearman correlation was used to test whether a relationship exists between the reported frequency of read-aloud sessions and achievement as well as a relationship between the length of time in the program and achievement. Findings from this study supported an achievement gap by socioeconomic status. However, findings failed to support a gender achievement gap and that program participation, length of participation, or the reported frequency of read-aloud sessions significantly impacted reading achievement among kindergarten students. A conclusion from this research is that just sending free books to children is not enough. Recommendations for action include registering more lower-income households, enriching the program with supplemental information or materials, and providing opportunities for parent education workshops. The implications for social change include greater awareness of early intervention strategies for reducing the achievement gap and enhancing literacy at an early age.