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Providence Community Library Pilots Online Reading Platform to Beat Summer Reading Loss

July 1, 2013

I should be happy for this since it's another way to encourage and inspire readers or would-be readers to read all summer long. Fabulous that our local library is always looking for new ways to help young readers advance their skills and hopefully become life-long reading lovers, however I am still old-school when it comes to reading books.  I'm on a computer all day for work, so at the end of the day wanting to give my eyes a rest from the screen I still prefer curling up outside with "real" books. And while my kids still enjoy reading paper books, I'm not encouraging any extra screen time in our house–for now. - Anisa

6a00e54faaf86b883301538df4789e970b-800wiAward winning personalized system helps the city’s children fight the summer slide by making books with multiple learning supports available anywhere, anytime

Providence Community Library (PCL) is rolling out a new online literacy program called myON Reader to compliment its regular Summer Reading Program. The myON Reader provides access to over 3,000 digital books, more than 10 percent of which are in Spanish, with special multimedia features to assist learning.  The program’s software assesses a child’s reading level, monitors progress and gradually increases the level of reading challenge through a recommended book list.

PCL is offering exclusive access to the myON Reader as it trials the system in the state. Aimed at kindergartners and elementary school grades 1-6, the myON reader can be accessed through any computer or mobile device with internet access. It was used with success in Connecticut last summer when 1,378 children at four schools read more than 10,000 digital books during a reading pilot conducted by Hartford Public Schools.

“Research shows that reading just six to eight books during the summer months can eliminate reading loss” said Michelle Novello, PCL’s Program Coordinator. “With less than half of Providence students reading well by 3rd grade, myON is just one of the innovative methods PCL is using to support the school district and to help young people graduate high school on time.”

Students can sign up for the Summer Reading Program and the myON Reader at any PCL neighborhood library. Kick-off events featuring children’s entertainers are scheduled at all branches and every library will have special performances sponsored by the RI Office of Library and Information Services. Toddlers to teens who join the program get the chance to win prizes and earn vouchers for free entry into Rhode Island attractions. Last year, eight-year-old Angelique Montes de Oca, a PCL member, read 130 books on her way to the state’s grand prize of a trip to Disney World. “Prizes such as Kindles are a real incentive for kids” said Novello. “Last year’s program was so successful that PCL doubled the number of participants from 2011 and we are going to build on that success”.

Full details plus recommended reading lists can be obtained from any PCL branch or the from the library’s website at www.provcomlib.org. Additionally, PCL offers Cyberkids computer workshops, a Comics Consortium for young graphic artists, regular storytimes, music and movement, Spanish and ESL classes, fun and games days and much more.

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