Elementary students will have access to more books through online app

Originally published on Examiner Enterprise by Kim Archer, karcher@gannett.com

Getting more books in the hands of elementary school students is the goal of many educators, and now Bartlesville Public Schools has found a way to do that electronically.

In partnership with Bartlesville Education Promise, the district has purchased e-books for the district’s six elementary schools. They will be accessed through an app called Sora.

“All of our school librarians are excited that this new program is being implemented. This program will allow us to continue to provide age-appropriate books for our students so that they can continue to learn while at home,” said Kathy Hixon, a librarian at Wayside Elementary School.

She noted that the COVID-19 pandemic raised awareness about the need for such access.

“E-books are the wave of the future for making books available to our students,” she said. “We are extremely honored that Bartlesville Education Promise is willing to help with this needed program.”

Elementary schools and Bartlesville Education Promise provided funding for the purchase of e-books, which were selected by elementary school librarians based on student interest and reading ability.

Students will be able to browse for the books on the Sora app by author, subject, genre, keyword or reading level. They may check out the book and then return it using the app.

Librarians will be able to monitor the usage of the Sora app, which will be available to students for free and can be loaded onto any device. It will automatically be loaded on district-provided Chromebooks.

Children will also be able to read books using the Sora app offline when an internet connection isn’t available.

“With the advent of our nation’s pandemic, we are concerned that students will have gaps in their reading skills,” said Dianne Martinez, BPS executive director of elementary schools. “Our elementary librarians recognize that not having books readily available to students can provide roadblocks in a student’s education during distance learning.”  

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