By Haycock, Ken
Teacher Librarian , Vol. 28, No. 4
Print rich environments in classrooms and libraries are essential to reading achievement but only with teachers trained in connecting children and books.
Higher socioeconomic status classrooms have more books and more books displayed than do lower socioeconomic classrooms. Higher socioeconomic status classrooms provide more time for sustained silent reading. Similarly, they provide more time for reading aloud of novels.
This access to print predicts reading achievement, even when socioeconomic status is controlled. Higher and medium school achievers are more likely to be library users than low school achievers.
The presence of books is necessary but not always sufficient. Indeed, "latchkey kids" left at the library for free after school care do not typically read, but rather hang out and play on the computers. Attention from a librarian or other helper can get children interested in books and help them to discover a "home run" book.
With training, teachers in print rich environments are more likely to engage in reading aloud, to link reading and writing activities, to promote books and reading, to provide high interest reading and to plan trips to the library, all of which contribute to reading achievement and motivation.
Duke, N. (2000). For the rich, it's richer: Print experiences and environments offered to children in very low- and very high-socioeconomic status first-grade classrooms. …