Digital Library Access for Every Child in Arizona
Read On Arizona and myON are joining efforts so that children ages three and up will have free and unlimited access to thousands of digital books from April through September 2014.
Read On Arizona is committed to ensuring all children in Arizona are reading at or above grade level by the end of third grade. Third grade is a critical milestone where students move from learning to read to reading to learn. Additionally, Arizona enacted Move on When Reading (ARS 15-701) which requires by law that students scoring “far below” on Arizona’s AIMS reading assessment may be retained in third grade until they meet the reading specifications set forth in statute.
Summer reading is very important to a student’s academic achievement. As educators and administrators across the state focus their efforts on improving students’ reading skills, many students show measurable success by the end of the school year. However, once the school year ends and summer begins, students face the challenge of retaining the gains achieved in reading during the previous school year—often called “summer slide.”
“Reading over the summer is an important step in building vocabulary. By giving children access to books that capture their interests, children are likely to keep reading and ultimately decrease ‘summer slide’,” said Arizona Literacy Director for Read On Arizona Terri Clark. “Families should encourage a child to read independently or with a family member during the summer. Just 20 minutes a day for any child can make a huge difference!”
Through myON, books are accessible online and offline anytime and anywhere students have access to a device. Users may read the enhanced digital books on computers, tablets, and other devices. Readers can choose from a collection that includes thousands of digital books in a variety of genres and formats. There is no limit to the number of times a user can read a book or the number of people who can read the same book at the same time.
“The importance of providing Arizona’s young children with exciting and engaging ways to read during the summer is absolutely mission critical,” said Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal. “For low-income children in particular, it is imperative that we create a strong link to learning from school year to school year. We are thrilled that through our partnership with myON, more than 360,000 children from across Arizona will have the opportunity to access skill-appropriate, engaging books to read over the summer.”
Students can start downloading books using myON immediately at ReadOnArizona.org and will have access to this digital library through September 30, 2014. This access is established as a trial basis in which usage records and survey results will be evaluated to determine interest and need for this resource in homes and schools statewide.
Within myON, aggregate data will be captured about the number of books students access and read, the amount of time children spend reading, and the most popular books read among Arizona children.
“Our team is proud to partner with Read On Arizona to engage students in the very important and exciting activity of reading throughout the summer months,” said Todd Brekhus, president of myON. “Research shows that students grow as readers when they read books that are of interest in their targeted reading level.”