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Research Update: Financial Constraints Limit Access to High-Impact Literacy Enrichment

By Avery Castellani, with research from the wider BoB team

Welcome back to the Busload of Books blog! We’re here today with yet another research update! This is the third in a series of updates associated with data our team collected at the NCTE conference last November. If you’re interested in hearing more about our findings, I encourage you to read our previous posts in the research update series.

Our data comes from over 500 educators we were lucky enough to encounter at NCTE. In having them complete our survey, we hope to use their answers to better understand the perceived benefits and challenges associated with bringing authors and illustrators to K-12 schools.  Today’s post focuses on the latter, highlighting various challenges that come with making these literacy enrichment experiences happen. 

When asked to choose from a list of possible challenges for implementing author/illustrator visits, one theme dominated the rest: financial constraints. 67% of the teachers we surveyed said that the overall cost of these visits are too high. In relation to this, 49% of teachers said that there isn’t enough money in their budgets to account for those costs.  

With concerns like this, it’s most often under-served and under-resourced communities and schools that are done a disservice. Not only can it be difficult to fundraise for these visits, but difficult to allocate the time to plan for them as well. A lack of resources limits a school’s ability to successfully host.  

This research is important because it advocates for literacy enrichment experience for all learners, particularly those in underserved communities. By learning what schools need to make these visits happen, all parties involved in the visit can adapt their planning approaches to best support one another, as well as finding new avenues to make author/illustrator visits happen. This research directly supports said avenues, giving educators data to build compelling cases on why these visits are important. It also provides authors/illustrators and publishers with information that can aid them in adapting their approaches and offsetting costs for these communities.  

Thank you for reading and stay tuned for future updates! 



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