Improving Reading Skills by Encouraging Children to Read: A Randomized Evaluation of the Sa Aklat Sisikat Reading Program in the Philippines

36 Pages Posted: 4 Jul 2011

See all articles by Ama Baafra Abeberese

Ama Baafra Abeberese

Columbia University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Department of Economics

Todd Kumler

Columbia University

Leigh L. Linden

The University of Texas at Austin; National Bureau of Economic Research; Jameel Poverty Action Lab; Innovations for Poverty Action; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD)

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Abstract

We evaluate a program that aims to improve children's reading skills by providing classes with age-appropriate reading material and incentivizing children to read through a 31 day read-a-thon. During the read-a-thon, the program significantly increases the propensity of children to read, causing 20 percent more children to have read a book in the last week at school and increasing the number of books read by 2.3 in the last week and 7.2 in the last month. These increases extend both after the end of the program and outside of school, although at lower rates. The program also increased students’ scores on a reading assessment, causing students’ scores to improve by 0.13 standard deviations immediately after the program. The effect persisted even after the program ended with an effect of 0.06 standard deviations three months later.

Keywords: education, reading, development

JEL Classification: I21, I28, O15

Suggested Citation

Abeberese, Ama Baafra and Kumler, Todd and Linden, Leigh L., Improving Reading Skills by Encouraging Children to Read: A Randomized Evaluation of the Sa Aklat Sisikat Reading Program in the Philippines. IZA Discussion Paper No. 5812, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1877625

Ama Baafra Abeberese (Contact Author)

Columbia University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Department of Economics ( email )

420 W. 118th Street
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Todd Kumler

Columbia University ( email )

New York, NY 10027
United States

Leigh L. Linden

The University of Texas at Austin ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://www.leighlinden.com

National Bureau of Economic Research ( email )

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Jameel Poverty Action Lab ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://www.leighlinden.com

Innovations for Poverty Action ( email )

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Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) ( email )

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Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD) ( email )

Duke University
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