[R2R-OR] Ready to Read Grant: help for outcome planning

Katie Anderson katie.anderson at state.or.us
Wed Jul 25 12:39:30 PDT 2012

Hello! As you know, Ready to Read Grant applications are due August 31, 2012. Applications are available online at: http://cms.oregon.egov.com/osl/LD/Pages/youthsvcs/aboutready.aspx#Forms.  Last week one of you asked me for examples of outcomes and how to evaluate whether or not those outcomes were met. I thought many of you may have the same question so here you go...

First of all, I have created a sample of a completed Ready to Read Grant application that will provide examples of how to answer all the questions on the application and fill-out the budget. You can view the sample online at: http://cms.oregon.egov.com/osl/LD/youthsvcs/ReadytoRead/r2rApplication2012-2013example.pdf. Our website is slow because the State is changing content management systems so you will likely have to wait a minute or two for the page to load.

Q: Can you give some examples of outcomes and how to measure them?

A: First identify one or two outcomes you want to achieve, then plan as many or few activities designed to achieve your desired outcome(s).  You don't need to have an outcome for every single activity funded by your grant. Here are some examples:


  *   Outcomes: Parents will understand why songs and rhymes are important to early literacy development. Preschoolers will be able to sing and rhyme in storytimes.
  *   Activities: Develop music CD collection, develop collection of picture books with songs and rhymes, create and print handouts of storytime songs and rhymes for parents to practice at home, create and print a songs/rhyme book list, purchase CD player for storytime, contract with a performer for boogie babies event, purchase shakers for storytime, and other storytime supplies.
  *   Measures: Library staff will observe whether or not parents and children increase their ability to sing and rhyme along with them during storytimes, and collect anecdotal evidence from parents about their child's improvement in phonological development (singing, rhyming, and playing with the smaller sounds in words) through informal conversation before/after storytimes.

Collection Development:

  *   Outcomes: Children will develop print awareness and print motivation. Parents will provide high-interest, developmentally appropriate books for their young children.
  *   Activities: Develop board book and picture book collection and create and print new age-specific book lists for parents that promote these new titles along with old favorites.
  *   Measures: circulation staff will observe whether or not parents are checking out developmentally appropriate books for their young children and whether or not those children are patting, chewing, and/or trying to turn the pages of board books and able to hold picture books correctly and turn pages the right direction.

Summer reading:

  *   Outcome: Children and teens will maintain or increase their reading level over the summer.
  *   Activities: All sorts of summer reading events, activities, collection development, outreach, prizes, etc.
  *   Measure: Conduct a parent survey at the end of the summer to find out whether or not their children are reading at the same, higher, or lower reading level than at the beginning of summer.

Q: Are participation numbers an acceptable measure of effectiveness?

A: Participation numbers usually do not indicate whether or not an outcome was achieved. An outcome is something that happens as a result of an activity or process (Merriam-Webster<http://www.learnersdictionary.com/search/outcome>). An output is the amount of something that is produced by a person or thing (Merriam-Webster<http://www.learnersdictionary.com/search/output>). A familiar example is an election. The outcome of the election is WHO wins. The output is HOW MANY votes people cast in the election.

Using our summer reading example outcome from above:

You might have 100 people participate in your SRP, but that number (100) does not indicate how many of them maintained or increased their reading level over the summer. To measure this outcome you will likely have to conduct a survey at the end of your summer reading program asking parents “Is your child reading books that are easier, the same, or more difficult than the books they were reading before they participated in the summer reading program?” and “Does your child spend more, less, or the same amount of time reading each week now than they did before they participated in the summer reading program?”

Numbers of people attending programs are outputs and are essential for planning and reporting. Outputs (numbers) are important for determining how much time, money, and other resources to invest in a program. The State Library will continue to collect participation numbers via the Ready to Read Grant because outputs (numbers) used with outcomes (results) are essential for advocating for more resources!

Please let me know if you have any more questions.

Thank you,


Katie Anderson, Library Development Services
* Youth Services Consultant * Oregon Center for the Book Coordinator *
Oregon State Library, 250 Winter St. NE, Salem, OR 97301
katie.anderson at state.or.us<mailto:katie.anderson at state.or.us>, 503-378-2528

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