With schools facing the challenge of unfinished learning due to the pandemic, the Delaware Department of Education (DDOE) is providing access to online books to every K-12 student in the state. Students can use their school credentials to read required and recreational digital books in the OverDrive Education Sora student reading app. Students also now have seamless access to age-appropriate popular ebooks and audiobooks from the Delaware Libraries' OverDrive digital collection.
The DDOE invested federal Elementary & Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds to provide students with access to educational and popular digital books that will be available to schools and their 144,000 students. The digital collection is available for students to borrow and read on any device inside the classroom, at home and anywhere 24/7. Families will receive their sign-on credentials through their students' schools.
"We are excited all public school students in Delaware will have the opportunity this summer to immerse themselves in literacy," Secretary of Education Susan Bunting said.
Said State Librarian Annie Norman, "Delaware Libraries are excited to partner with the Department of Education to share seamless year-round access to eBooks for children and youth."
Despite a disrupted year in the classroom, the DDOE focused on shifting the narrative from learning loss to unfinished teaching and learning, and from remediation to acceleration to promote action grounded in a growth mindset. As such, the DDOE committed to seeing that all Delaware public schools' students and staff can access resources to support learning acceleration. The DDOE also partnered with community-based organizations to encourage use of the OverDrive Education reading activities throughout the summer and extended learning. Regardless of where students are, they are receiving high-quality educational services and opportunities to learn, 24/7.
Digital books and on-demand digital class sets in the collection were selected from identified HQIM (high quality instructional materials) curricula. This collection features high-quality curriculum titles adopted by each of Delaware's districts and charters, plus a digital collection of popular ebooks and audiobooks. Curriculum titles include Llama Llama Time to Share, The Snowy Day, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, Esperanza Rising, The Lightning Thief, Patient Zero and The Omnivore's Dilemma among others. Popular titles for choice pleasure reading include Smile, The Crossover, Miles Morales, New Kid, The Baby-Sitters Club series, Pete the Cat series, One of Us Is Lying, I Survived series, A Scarf for Keiko, Concrete Rose and more. In addition, the collection features ebooks and audiobooks in languages other than English, including translated books and authentic texts from native speakers.
In addition, the DDOE and Delaware Libraries' partnership allows Delaware students to borrow from both the Delaware Accelerate Learning's collection of classroom and pleasure reading titles as well as Delaware Public Libraries' titles. Sora will automatically filter content to only include age-appropriate titles depending on each student's grade level.