When you were in school, a trip to the middle school library meant looking through the shelves for books or learning to use the card catalogue to do research. If computers or other technology were involved, it was mainly to take the purpose of the card catalogue. Things have changed a lot since then.
In the midst of video games, smart phones and other distractions at their fingertips, middle school students have lost the joy for reading. A trip to the library isn’t nearly as exciting as a surfing the web or chatting online.
Library Media Specialist Desi Beard from Lake Dallas Middle School aimed to change the reading experience for her students. With the popularity and availability of e-readers, Ms. Beard saw an opportunity to bring books and reading support to the hands of her students in a way they would enjoy and understand.
She wrote a grant to purchase 30 Kindles. For the less technologically inclined, Kindles are the electronic reading devices put out by Amazon. The software is free on any smart phone, tablet, laptop or computer. However, the Kindle devices themselves are not free. The advantage to purchasing them is that they come with additional reading support, which is helpful to many middle school students who struggle with the skill.
For Lake Dallas Middle School students, a trip to the school library now means a class period, or more, that’s engaging and helps them learn in ways that make sense to them. Reading is now more fun because books and magazines are presented in a familiar format – electronic. You may mourn the passing of books, but your middle school students are more engaged thanks to Ms. Beard’s insights about using Kindle readers to bring books to her students.
We’re proud to be able to support Ms. Beard’s efforts to help her students love reading and books as much as she does – no matter what the format.