Reading is Always Beneficial! The Impacts of Bookstart Program on Elementary School Student’s Academic Performance
The Bookstart program has been introduced into Taiwan for more than twenty years. Many previous studies examined this program from the policy diffusion or implementation perspective, only a few of them focused on the performance aspect, and most of these studies adopt the self-evaluation approach (e.g., survey). A more systematic and comprehensive empirical research is needed to examine the impacts of the experience of participation in Bookstart on individual’s academic performance. This paper combines the objective indicators of academic performance (i.e., the scores of Chinese, mathematics, natural sciences and social sciences of an elementary school) and selfreported subjective survey research to study whether the experience is really beneficial for young students. One thousand and fifty-three students of DaDe Elementary School, Taichung City, were surveyed. Research results indicate that: (1) The socio-economic backgrounds of the parents will affect whether their youngsters will participate the Bookstart or not. (2) Bookstart experience will have positive and significant impacts on the student’s academic performance. (3) The influence is not affected by the moderators, such as taking after school lessons, going to library regularly, and taking online reading certification. It is recommended that central and local governments should continue to support the program and to enhance its quality, it is always beneficial for the students, families and the society to encourage more youngsters to read as early as possible.