Household Reading Site: Improving Children’s Reading Interest and Access in Rural China


The Household Reading Site (HRS) project aims to increase reading access and improve literacy among rural children by placing shelves of books in selected rural families and establishing neighborhood reading centers in Chinese villages. The HRS project seeks to tackle an increasingly dire social problem that accompanies China's rapid urbanization – the crisis of “left-behind” children. In search of better job opportunities, many rural adults migrate to cities and leave their children behind. There are about 70 million left-behind children in rural China, and they experience various effects of poverty, including poor quality of education. Research has shown that rural children significantly lack access to suitable and adequate reading materials to develop their reading skills and interests. Recognizing this barrier in reading and literacy development, the HRS project aims to make reading materials easily accessible to rural children by creating neighborhood reading centers in selected households. HRS has identified a total of 15 villages to implement the intervention. At each village, 5 households are selected to receive a bookshelf and age-appropriate reading materials for children in that household and neighboring families. Selected families are trained on how to run the household-based library to offer convenient access to books and foster a culture of reading among neighborhood children. Impact of the HRS project is determined by measuring the reading behavior, academic self-concept and academic performance of the children in the selected households and neighboring families.

Author Information
Lili Luo, San Jose State University, United States
Xiaofang Zhang, Xiangtan University, China
Ge Zhang, Shanghai University, China
Fengjie Qiu, National Library of China, China
Zizhou Wang, Peking University, China

Paper Information
Conference: ACEID2024
Stream: Education

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon