READ – Reading Together

An intervention, where parents are involved to strengthen pupils’ academic skills within reading and mathematics? The research project READ continues the work with positive experiences from the “Language Suitcase Project” and exposes whether it, on ground school level, is possible to strengthen the pupils’ academic competencies in reading and mathematics through a simple parent involving intervention.

Time period:

2013 – 2016.

Target group:

Children in 2nd and 3rd grade.    

Number of participants:

29 public schools in Aarhus, approximately 3.000 pupils (of whom some participated in the experiment with the language suitcase in 2009-2011).    


Children become the best readers, when they read regularly at home. How parents read with their children – and not the least talk with the child about language and reading – are important for the reading development. Thus the intervention consists of books for the children to read and a handbook for the parents. The children receive the books and the handbook two times within the school year in which the intervention takes place. The handbook is translated to nine languages and provides practical advises for the parents about how they can help their children with reading and understanding the texts. Furthermore, the handbook informs the parents about every child’s ability to become a better reader by practice. Hence, the intervention is especially focused on motivating parents who think their child has difficulties reading and thus needs to be spared – to practice more on a level that fits the pupil.

Moreover the pupils in 3rd grade receive material, which guides the parents to involve mathematics in the home.    


The effect of READ is evaluated in a randomized controlled trial. Half of the 141 participating public school classes are drawn and used as intervention group and the other half as control group. The draw makes it possible to evaluate the effect of the intervention with big certainty.

The pupils’ benefits, consisting of skills in reading and mathematics, are recorded through detailed reading- and writing tests, which are supposed to present a varied picture of the children’s development.    


Aarhus Municipality and VIA University College.     


Expected in 2016.