It's that time of year when Words Alive begins sharing the outcomes of its programs from the recently completed school year. Through our work with the San Diego County Office of Education, we've been able to share quantitative outcomes of our Adolescent Book Group - the numerical value the program has had on teen participants. This has generally included test scores and other measurable indicators highlighting increased critical thinking skills and better language and vocabulary usage.
However, another element we really want to know is whether or not HABITS around reading have formed. Are the students BECOMING readers? Has the PRACTICE of reading taken hold? These are very important qualitative indicators that show that the lives of the young people in the ABG program are improving. Gathering this data, and creating a narrative around these outcomes have proven more difficult to get.
Since January 2016, with the support of the William R. Gumpert Foundation and under the direction and guidance of Dr. Steve Patty's organization, Dialogues In Action, we joined a cohort of other local non-profits to explore just that - the deeper, more meaningful findings that qualitative data tells us about the impact of our programs. We designed evaluation instruments that gave us insight to the role that reading plays on the students' lives, and the kind of people they were evolving into because of their relationship to reading.
On August 11th, we had the opportunity to present, briefly, some high points of this discovery publicly. This month, we also shared with the Board of Directors, the findings as anthologized in the 2016 Project Impact Report as published by Dialogues in Action. Here, we're proud to provide to you the full report, complete with findings as well as our methodology. We encourage you to read it. It's fascinating to see how these young people evolve and change in some extremely positive ways.
Many of us take the act and practice of reading for granted. We've always done it. We know that the ability to read and write effectively is responsible for much of our success. We see how reading plays a vital role in nearly every aspect of our lives. But for a lot of young people in our community, the regular act of reading - and the benefits there of, have yet to be fully present. This is the purpose of Words Alive - to make reading MATTER. You'll see in the pages of this report, that this purpose is taking hold, and consequently changing a lot of lives for the better.