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Mineola Schools to Pilot E-Books for Summer Reading

New e-reader program comes at no cost to school district.

Due to the propensity of the Mineola School District to use some of the , it is not unusual for companies to approach them about .

“Most of the time it doesn’t fit so we decline,” Superintendent Dr. Michael Nagler said during the meeting on June 6 at the , acknowledging that the district is approached by such private firms, the latest of which is Sussman Sales, wishing for the district to pilot myON, an electronic web-based library of 2,500 e-books where users can get a book on any device of their choice.

“I thought it would be a nice way to do our summer reading this year,” Dr. Nagler said. “What happens is it gives the children a little assessment to see what their reading level is... and then it will recommend books for the students to read.”

The company contacted Mineola and several other “tech-friendly” districts to pilot the program and test the program, which also gives a reading comprehension test after the book and keeps track of student scores.

“We can give a password to kids, they can use it all summer and when the summer is over we will get reports about how many books they read, how many pages they read, whether or not they took the assessments, how they’re doing with their comprehension and you can basically do it K-7; it’s not really appropriate for high school,” the superintendent said. “I think it’s an easy way to recommend and monitor summer reading and make it meaningful for kids and, more importantly, it’s completely free.”

If the district chooses to use the program for the fall, there would be a fee.

“Some children love the e-books, some don’t; they want the hardcopy,” Dr. Nagler said, noting the librarians are working with purchasing e-books through the district’s library catalogue. “They like the graphics, a lot of kids read pictures.”

The students would not be able to use the program with their school-issued iPad during the summer, only using their family-owned equipment.

“We need those devices to get them ready for the next round,” the superintendent said of the iPads.

A letter was already sent home about summer reading, but a new letter and password would be sent out with report cards so students would be able to use the program if they so choose.

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