The St. Albert Public Library Summer Reading Game:
Do Children's Reading Levels Change over the Course of the Game?

Heather Dolman
School of Library and Information Studies
University of Alberta

Abstract: A pilot study was conducted of the St. Albert Public Library summer reading game in order to quantitatively evaluate the game in terms of its impact on participants' reading abilities and the documented phenomenon of summer learning loss. Participants' reading levels were determined when participants registered for the game and again on completion of the game, through the use of the Schonell Word Recognition Test. Changes in pre- and post-game scores were evaluated to determine if reading levels improved, decreased or stayed the same. In addition to evaluating the group as a whole, the results were also sub-grouped and examined by grade level, gender and number of books read. Overall, an increase or maintenance in reading levels was seen when pre- and post- test scores were compared, however, a number of reliability issues identified with respect to the Schonell Word Recognition Test made it difficult to determine the overall significance of the observed results. No difference was seen between the sexes with respect to reading level changes. As well, no correlation was seen between the number of books read and reading level change.

Keywords: Reading Assessment, Summer Learning Loss, Library Reading Programs, Schonell Word Recognition Test.

This paper was originally created August 31, 2003 as the final paper for LIS 599 - Directed Study. This Directed Study was part of the course work for the writer's MLIS degree at the School of Library and Information Studies, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada. This document was converted to HTML and updated March 2004 to meet Capping Project (LIS 600) requirements. Any questions regarding this research can be addressed to Heather Dolman.