Literacy is everyone’s business in Perry, an agricultural community in western New York State. When kids go to the grocery store, the clerk may ask about their reading activity. Members of the Rotary Club volunteer at the school and help sustain the culture of reading throughout the town. Parents are involved.
“We go out of our way to ensure that everyone knows our literacy goals,” explained Stephen Haynes, the elementary school principal, “and we revisit the urgency of reading on a daily basis.” myON expands the school’s capacity to get more books into the hands of students and families, and engagement levels during the school’s first year with myON were impressive.
Elementary students are required to read independently for 30 minutes at school and another 30 minutes at home each day. Each 30-minute segment is broken into two 15-minute “steps.” Sharing this terminology community-wide, along with the goals, sustains Perry’s culture of reading. It’s easy for adults to reinforce the message with kids simply by asking, “Did you get your steps in today?”