Program Impact

After years of watching our Ferst Readers program grow, we have seen overall school test scores positively impacted when a county has greater than 50% of its children enrolled in the program and has been operating 5 years or more. We have also seen from recent studies, that Ferst Readers contributes to "leveling" the playing field for children who, without the benefit of this program, might otherwise enter school up to two years behind their peers.

Stewart GA Pre K Scores on Grade Level 2023

A 2015 School Readiness Survey of 90 pre-k/kindergarten teachers and 800 Ferst Readers participants found:

  • Ferst Readers program participation helps develop the skills children need to be successful in school.
  • Ferst Readers children demonstrate better reading behaviors, are much more actively engaged during story time, and are better listeners.
  • Ferst Readers parents are more engaged across the board in their children’s academic progress than non-Ferst Readers parents.

A 2015 Program Effectiveness Evaluation gauging the kindergarten GKIDS assessment scores of Ferst Readers program graduates indicated:

  • Ferst Readers participants perform at a higher percentage (meet or exceed standards) than non-Ferst Readers children;
  • Ferst Readers program contributes to "leveling" the playing field for children who, because of socioeconomic factors, would likely enter school up to two years behind their peers.

We know Ferst Readers is making a difference in the lives of children, one book at a time, not only from the data but from parents themselves, who tell us every day how much they value their children being part of the Ferst Readers program. And of course, the entire community benefits when even one more child comes to school prepared to learn.


2015 Ferst Readers School Readiness Survey (PDF)

2015 Ferst Readers Program Effectiveness Evaluation (PDF)

The development of emerging literacy skills in young children is too important to allow a 'wait and see' approach. Current research overwhelmingly supports the importance of facilitating early and emerging literacy skills in preschool-age children as a critical foundation for literacy development.

Paulson et al. (2004). The Effects of an Early Reading Curriculum on Language and Literacy Development of Head Start Children. Journal of Research in Childhood Education. 18(3)

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Thank you for visiting Ferst Readers!

Ensuring that children develop early literacy skills is one of the most important things we can do - as parents, as teachers - and as a society.

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