Delaware Summer Reading Research
Dr. Carol Gordon, in collaboration with the Delaware Department of Education, replicated the Barnstable Summer Reading study in two technical high schools in Delaware. The students created their own summer reading website, with input from a pre-summer survey of 524 students. The website contained social networking tools in addition to several illustrated and annotated reading lists. A post-survey was conducted to establish the effects of the web-based program on students' reading attitudes and behaviors.
The pre-summer survey informed the design of an online summer reading program by establishing students reading preferences. The results indicate a strong preference for print materials, i.e.,books, magazines, newspapers, catalogs, comic books: 65 percent of survey respondents indicated fiction books, while 58 percent indicated their preference for magazines. In comparison, 35 percent chose Web 2.0, i.e., interactive websites such as Facebook, bloggings sites, and Twitter, as reading preferences, and 27 percent chose web pages, i.e., traditional, static websites. Strong profiles emerged for three types of readers. The emotional and intellectual aspects of their reading, including perceptions of free choice, varied widely among the three groups.