Behind the Book employs a rigorous evaluation process to gauge the effectiveness of our programs and to guide us toward areas that may need improvement. Each teacher with whom we partner completes a pre- and post- survey. The questions on the survey are carefully designed to measure how well students understand and implement elements of the reading and writing process before and after our programs. Teachers are given a sliding scale from one to five to assess the change in students’ abilities. The results of our 2015-16 school year evaluations were overwhelmingly positive – we moved the mark on every item queried.

The surveys also ask teachers for their observations of students’ engagement in reading as well as improvement of overall literacy skills. To highlight, teachers reported that students demonstrated:

  • Increased Engagement – 87%
  • Increased Motivation to Read – 86%
  • Better Understanding of the Writing Process – 82%
  • Increased Motivation to Write – 80%
  • Improved Overall Literacy – 83%
  • Improved Belief in Their Skills – 83%
  • Higher Quality Writing – 85%

The students are posed questions at the end of the program that are designed to find out more about what they learned, without mimicking the canned state tests they regularly face. The questions are interactive, long-answer questions. We were excited to see that in 2015-16, the most used words on the student assessments were: can, learn, fun, love.

We think that’s a great way to sum up Behind the Book. The full word cloud from the student evaluations is pictured above.

The link to the evaluation results is here.