A composite measure was developed to identify kindergarten children from 21 classrooms who had a high or low interest in literature. Parent questionnaires, teacher evaluations, and tests provided information concerning children’s free-time home activities, parents’ characteristics and activities, school achievement, and the quality of the in-classroom literary environment. Significant differences were found between the high- and low-interest groups in most areas. High-interest children were read to more often than low-interest children, watched less television, and had more children’s books placed in many rooms at home. Parents and teachers of the high-interest children provided supportive literary environments at home and in school, whereas those in the low-interest group did not. The results are compared to investigations of early readers and older voluntary readers.
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