The Washington Times-Herald

Local News

December 7, 2013

Book fairs help raise literacy rates across the land


The book fair, which has been a staple for Lena Dunn for at least a decade, hopes to help change some of those statistics. “We want our students to have more books in their hands. It’s important for them to improve as readers and we want the students to read at home as well as in school.”

Superintendent of Public Education Glenda Ritz also stressed the importance of reading when she visited Washington Thursday.

“It should be the mission of Hoosiers to a build a culture of readers,” said Ritz.

To help build that culture, Ritz launched Hoosier Family of Readers earlier this year to help keep students and families reading.

The program, which has been implemented into over 175 organizations around the state including the National Guard, also offers families the opportunity to read more than 3,000 digital books from myON Books at no cost. myOn allows students to download as many as 20 titles for offline reading using free mobile apps for iPad and Android tablets. The books are available anytime and anywhere as long as there is internet access.

The portal myOn offers about 70 percent nonfiction, 10 percent Spanish or dual language, and 20 percent Hi-Lo titles but the offerings continue to grow.

“We want and need students to be reading outside of school. Reading is a key indicator of success in the classroom,” said Ritz, who is not only a teacher but also a media specialist.

Ritz also expressed how important book fairs can be to students.

“Book fairs are a wonderful way to get books to children especially to those who may not otherwise have much access to them. Schools can often request overstock or bargain books for their students as well as books in other languages,” she said. “This helps to ensure that nearly every child can purchase a book.”

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