Columbia Public Schools announced Wednesday an expansion of an electronic reading program throughout the district. With the myON reader program, students can log on to a website and have access to thousands of free electronic books.
Superintendent Chris Belcher calls it “amazon.com” for kids. He says the district has purchased a password to access the site for every 4-year old in the district.
The program, which can also read books out loud to beginning students, suggests books for kids based on their interests and reading level. After finishing a book, they take a short quiz that will further recommend future reads. Parents and teachers can then monitor students’ progress and reading level.
The district started experimenting with myON reader in two elementary schools about two years ago.
Chief Academic Advisor for the district, Sally Beth Lyon, says providing access to four year olds could give them a leg up when school starts.
"The ultimate goal is that all of our students are entering kindergarten with rich vocabulary, rich experience in text, a love of books, a kind of understanding of what reading is. They don’t know how to read yet, we’re good at teaching that," Lyon said.
Lyon says that further down the road the district’s goal is to have all students reading at grade level or above by 3rd grade.