Salem Community Schools, Indiana

Educators at Salem Community Schools are always looking for creative ways to get boys more interested in reading. But when student performance levels on state tests fell below the state average and then administrators saw a high percentage of elementary students reading below level on other assessments, they stepped up measures to make a change.

In addition to other efforts, they incorporated myON’s literacy solution into the curriculum and the district’s approach to improve reading and literacy among students. The combination of myON’s extensive list of book titles and that it uses new technologies has really appealed to and motivated students.

“Once I taught the students how to use myON, they’ve really taken off,” says Kara Dillon, librarian at Bradie Shrum Elementary. “They love it and are really excited to use it. It’s a great program.” 

Salem Community Schools have been using myON for the past four years. The district first started using it with its afterschool program, but it didn’t take long for district teachers and administrators to realize myON’s benefits for all of its elementary school students.  

 

"To really see the difference in student engagement and performance, colleagues from another school or district need to see it live in classrooms. That’s when they’ll see how myON is working for a variety of student performance levels. It’s making a difference."

Jackie Arnold, Director of Assessment and Program Improvement

Teachers at the district’s Bradie Shrum Elementary School have noted that many students—especially boys—are on myON as much as possible, some of them even asking to stay in a class or a session to keep reading with myON. Many students also are logging in to myON at home, long after the school day is over, to continue to read their books.

“I’ve never seen a class so excited about a program,” says Sheryl Holsapple, a fourth-grade teacher. “I have boys reading who would have never done so before. I hope we have this program for a long time.” 

Students at Salem Community Schools have read tens of thousands of books since the district started with the literacy solution. Over a seven-month period, students in the district read 4,000 books. Jackie Arnold, the district’s head of assessment and improvement of instruction, adds that myON “has encouraged students to improve their skills and learn to appreciate good books."

One of the key selling points for the district, was that myON can be used with the Accelerated Reader program, which the Salem Community Schools also use. Students in the district also point to myON’s audio read-aloud feature, the ability to build their own book lists and the chance to see what a book is about before reading it.

When asked what they would tell colleagues about myON, Arnold said: “To really see the difference in student engagement and performance, colleagues from another school or district need to see it live in classrooms. That’s when they’ll see how myON is working for a variety of student performance levels. It’s making a difference.”