In 2012, the State Library contracted with the University of Kansas to conduct an independent evaluation of how well 6 by 6: Ready to Read works in child care progra
The study compared two groups of child care providers and children. All child care providers attended brief meetings at their local public libraries where they learned about the six skills children need to have by about age six to be ready to learn to read. All attendees left with printed information that described 6 by 6 and gave practical tips on how to use 6 by 6.ms. The pilot study involved seven library locations (rural and urban), 17 child care programs and 88 children under age six.
After the meeting, approximately half of the childcare providers were randomly assigned to be in the group that received no further contact from library staff. The remaining child care providers, those in the â€œenhanced supportâ€ group, received three or four visits at their locations from library staff. Staff demonstrated age-appropriate literacy activities and provided child care sites with books and educational activities to use during the study.
Â Researchers found that:
- Inviting small groups of child care givers in to the library for a brief 6 by 6 training session presented by library staff is an effective way to give early literacy information to community members.
Researchers state: â€œChild care provider response to the training was overwhelmingly positive.â€ After the training sessions, â€œall of the participants felt that they were able to explain the (early literacy skill) terms and plan activities for the children related to at least five of the six key literacy skills.â€ (p.12-13)
- A short provider training at the library is just as effective as 3-4 teaching outreach visits to child care programs. Researchers recommend â€œthat local libraries in Kansas continue to offer 6 by 6 introductory meetings to small groups of child care providers in their areas.â€ (p.21)
- Six months after attending meetings at their libraries, child care providers reported using the library more often, including checking out materials for use with children in their care.
- There was an increase in childrenâ€™s reading readiness approximately two months after their caregivers were introduced to 6 by 6. Children continued to show gains when assessed four months later. (p.22)
The full report is available at: http://www.kslib.info/Documents/6by6_EvaluationReport_FINAL.pdf
Anna Foote, the state Early Literacy/Lifelong Learning Coordinator, will be holding a webinar to talk about how librarians can use these findings to benefit their libraries and to share ways the State Library can support libraries across the state. In the meantime, feel free to contact Anna at 800-432-3919.