Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

John Travers

Second Supervisor

Michael Wischnowski


For over a decade, the Rochester City School District (RCSD) has reported substandard test scores and graduation rates. In 2007, in response to negative press regarding academic achievement, Rochester Mayor Robert Duffy launched a city wide campaign designed to eradicate illiteracy in the city of Rochester. Part of Mayor Duffy’s literacy initiative involved engaging the community in this effort. In conjunction with the Mayor’s campaign, the Rochester Education Foundation (REF), a non-profit organization whose primary goal is to improve learning and success among Rochester city schoolchildren, began its Give Back, Give Books program. REF was established in 2005 and their most prominent initiative is the Give Back, Give Books program. Since the establishment of the program in 2006 REF has donated more than 22,000 new books to RCSD students. This study examined the utility and feasibility of the Give Back, Give Books program, through interviews with RCSD personnel who applied for and received books from the REF in 2009 and 2010. Using a qualitative research methodology, the researcher created a formative assessment of the aforementioned program based upon the data generated from the interviews with RCSD teachers, librarians, and principals. Because REF has no means to evaluate its most prominent program, the Executive Director, the Board of Directors, and various donors consider the results of this study to be valuable information that addressees the utility and feasibility of the Give Back, Give Books program. Interviews also provided suggestions for program improvement.

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