In2Books Research

Research and Evaluation

Implementation and evaluation go hand in hand at In2Books. Research and evaluation guide the development of the In2Books curricula, demonstrate the positive impact the program has on student literacy and continue to shape its evolution. Experts in children's literature and literacy continue to play an active role in the development and improvement of the In2Books experience.


Two respected journals, The Reading Teacher and Phi Delta Kappan, reported recently on the positive effect In2Books has had on student literacy. The articles extensively discussed the In2Books program and reasons why it produces these results. These reports are discussed below and are available in full text by clicking the links above. The authors of these reviews, William H. Teale and Linda B. Gambrell (with Zolt, Glasswell and Yokota in PDK) base their analyses and findings on both their work with the In2Books curricula in Washington, D.C., Chicago, Illinois, and other locations over a period of years, and the research studies described below.

Research to date:

In the 2003-2004 school year, the In2Books program was externally evaluated by Dr. Susan Goldman. Children in classrooms participating in the In2Books program scored significantly higher on reading achievement tests than did non-participating students. Read Dr. Goldman's report.
In summary, the research found:

  • Students who used In2Books in grades 2-4 scored significantly higher on SAT-9 standardized reading tests than students in the district who did not.
  • Students whose teachers had used In2Books for two or more years scored significantly higher in reading than non-I2B students.
  • Schools that persisted in implementing the program, so that students had the experience at more than one grade level, got more robust developmental growth patterns in letter writing quality than schools where students had only a one-year experience in the program.
  • Four practices were cited as contributing to higher reading test scores:
    • Reading high-quality, age-appropriate, appealing books from a variety of genres that addressed substantive issues important to students.
    • Reading the program books repeatedly and discussing them.
    • Engaging in a process approach to writing in order to compose the letters to the pen pals about the books.
    • Participating in ongoing professional development.
  • Finally, students who participated in In2Books were more efficient writers, had greater motivation to write, and wrote more complex sentences.
  • These findings echo the previous findings by Westat (discussed below) that In2Books increased students' critical thinking skills.
  • See the full Summary of Findings and Discussion here, authored by William H. Teale, Professor of Education and Chair of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Illinois at Chicago; Director of the UIC Reading Clinic.

In2Books Teacher Survey: Qualitative and Quantitative Synthesis

The Center for Research and Educational Policy (CREP) report the quantitative and qualitative findings from a 2003 In2Books teacher survey. The survey is based on the perceptions of 137 participating Washington, D.C. area teachers. The major goal of this survey was to examine teachers’ reactions to and experiences in using the In2Books program and associated practices.
To read full report access: click here

Westat Evaluation

National Research firm Westat (Rockville Maryland) reported in 2001 on its independent evaluation of the In2Books program in 7 District of Columbia elementary schools:

"Previous evaluations indicate that literacy skills and habits are hard and slow to change and difficult to measure. Thus, the results of this evaluation of one year of In2Books programming are especially positive and promising.

  • In2Books appears to have made a significant difference in the writing abilities of students....In2Books students also became more efficient writers, improving content while writing a similar number of words.
  • Data from the Student Reading Survey and the Writing Sample indicate that In2Books students were more likely to have improved in higher-level thinking skills than comparison students. This finding was also supported by teachers in interviews for the evaluation, who expressed that In2Books had a strong and positive effect on students' higher level thinking skills."

(Westat evaluation report)

For a copy of the full 119 page Westat summative evaluation report, please email