Churchville-Chili Central School District, New York

When elementary students in Churchville-Chili Central School District (NY) break for the summer, they take myON “digital book boxes” home with them, just as they do every day during the school year.

“We chose myON because it essentially puts books in the homes of all students,” explained Sue Witter, Director of Curriculum. “And we really appreciate the fact that the books literally go home with kids over the summer as well, because summer loss is a very real concern for us.”

​District leaders launched myON in 2014 as a summer reading opportunity for K-4 students in their suburban Rochester district, which has an increasing number of students living in poverty. They have been expanding their year-round implementation ever since.

The initial goals of the district were to increase student engagement and reading volume with a strategy focused on choice. “We didn’t put restrictions on types of books,” said Lindsey Peet, Literacy Coach. “We told students ‘what is in your digital book box (their myON Recommended lists, somewhat akin to the physical book boxes in classrooms) is good for you, but you also have access to other books, so feel free to browse in the library.’ That really hooked them.” 

 

"We chose myON because it essentially puts books in the homes of all students.  And we really appreciate the fact that the books literally go home with kids over the summer as well, because summer loss is a very real concern for us."

Staff welcomed the approach. After learning about the wide range and variety of available books, they were introduced to projects, which Peet describes as “one of the most powerful elements on myON.” Next, they will incorporate the annotation tools. “Teachers didn’t feel overwhelmed, which gave them time to become familiar with myON and settle in,” Witter said.

“Then they were ready for the next step.”

Peet utilizes myON during teacher release days and regular meetings with grade-level teams. Teachers “book shop” through the range of non-fiction titles for texts that support the curriculum, especially new science and social studies standards. As their implementation deepens, they will spend more time working with data from myON and correlating it with student achievement.

“We’re attacking literacy on all fronts,” Witter said. “In the big picture, we would love to see our reading scores go up. We provide a lot of PD around reading instruction, but a missing piece has been that volume of reading that kids need to consolidate their reading process. We see myON as a tool for doing that.”