Elementary-school students in Fredonia, N.Y., are showing progress in reading with the help of an online curriculum that adjusts lessons to meet the needs of a specific student, monitors progress and alerts teachers to real-time progress as it covers areas such as vocabulary, phonics and comprehension, Superintendent Brad Zilliox says. The district piloted the i-Ready Reading curriculum for a year before fully implementing it this year.
Ebook and audiobook checkouts are up at public libraries, but librarians say they need better access to digital titles and prices that are set at "reasonable terms." American Library Association executive Alan Inouye says "there needs to be a coming together on a discussion on what are reasonable terms."
Bismarck Public Schools in North Dakota are using a new language assistant app to help overcome language barriers between school staff and parents. The Interactive Language Assistant pilot program is intended to support parents who speak limited English.
New public libraries in the US and other countries are distinguished by their natural light, unique designs and amenities such as recording studios and teaching kitchens, writes The Washington Post editorial board. These libraries are well-positioned to serve their communities during the pandemic and in the future, the board writes.
Numbers were up across the board at Nebraska's Keene Memorial Library in fiscal 2021: 122,400 items were checked out, up more than 12,400 from 2020, and children's book checkouts increased by more than 7,000. Also, visits were up, Wi-Fi use was up, and days open were up; library director Laura England-Biggs noted that online learning sessions more than tripled.
Canadian libraries shut down as the pandemic hit, and when they reopened, patrons returned -- some after decades away, notes Kitchener library executive Mary Chevreau. Toronto Public Library head Vickery Bowles noted that people still use libraries for the books, but that libraries have also expanded nonbook offerings including access to cultural groups, movie screenings and human contact for people who are lonely.
Army post libraries, such as the locations in Belgium and the Netherlands, help servicemembers connect with their new communities. "It is such an amazing experience for me personally to have the ability to work with and engage with so many people from so many different countries," said Lisa Steinacker, the director for SHAPE International Library and Chievres Branch Library in Brussels.
Waterford Public Library, in Connecticut, is connecting with younger patrons via Grab & Go, in which parents go to the library for a bag of craft supplies their children can use to make a craft by following a video a librarian posts online. The library hands out at least 100 bags per activity, and librarian Jennifer Smith said the activity helps children to develop fine motor skills and to boost creativity.
Some school administrators are reconsidering traditional school calendars -- mulling longer school years and weekend classes, among others -- to curb learning loss stemming from disruptions during the coronavirus pandemic. Mark Anderson, superintendent of a Washington state school district that adopted a modified calendar this school year, said its program has been well-received.
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