DeSoto County Schools, Mississippi

One of DeSoto County School District’s main goals is to ignite a passion for reading among each one of its more than 23,000 students in grades K-8. Administrators believe the best way to get students excited to read is by giving them lots of choices of books and genres from which to choose. They’re doing that now with myON, and with much success.

“myON has really allowed our students to expand their reading power and depth,” says Tish Hunt, first-grade teacher at Southaven Elementary. “With the use of this technology, we are able to take our listening workstation to levels that we never thought possible by diversifying instruction for each student.”

Before the district implemented myON in 2013, teachers found it hard to keep up with students’ varied interests in book topics, even with well-supplied libraries in many of the schools.

“We have great school libraries, but libraries are limited. As readers, we may not feel like reading that one book we checked out for the week, so we like to have options,” says Ashley Bynum, one of DeSoto’s district literacy specialists.

Now, DeSoto County schools have unlimited options for students to dive into reading. Students can choose to read on myON, or a traditional book, or a magazine. “The progress they are making
is noteworthy,” says Jennifer Weeks, the district’s assistant superintendent of academic education.

myON’s dashboard, with its real-time progress of how much students are reading, help pique students’ interests. “myON has a great website. I read over 117 hours last year and was the top reader at my school,” said Dev Patel, a fifth grader at DeSoto Central Elementary. 

 

"myON has been a valuable resource for student choice and meeting a range of reading abilities."

Teachers and librarians throughout the district incorporate myON in innovative ways.  ​A school librarian has used myON to facilitate reading centers with students. A fourth-grade teacher at Horn Lake Intermediate School assigns reading on myON for homework to get parents involved. Students read and write a review and the teacher uses the reviews as mentor sentences for grammar mini-lessons.

Kelsey Gilbert, a first-grade teacher at Southaven Elementary has students use myON for research projects (in addition to reading) during which students select sets of books for their specific topics. “This has helped their writing become so much more detailed,” Gilbert said.

Several teachers in the district have cited myON as a great support tool for special education students and struggling readers. “myON has greatly benefitted my English Language Learners by giving them access to read selected texts in both English and Spanish,” said Julia Brumley, a first-grade teacher at Southaven Elementary. 

“myON has been a valuable resource for student choice and meeting a range of reading abilities,” says Milton Kuykendall, Superintendent, of DeSoto County Schools. “With over 4,000 books available, having access to a variety of texts is less of a challenge and reading is even more enjoyable for everyone.” ​