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Eichelberger Elementary Reads combines technology and reading

Eichelberger Elementary School Learning Resource Director Sharon Mix holds up a book she read recently as part of the new “Eichelberger Reads” program.  Eichelberger Elementary School’s new reading program not only increases the number of books students are reading, but also makes reading a fun and interactive activity with the help of technology.

Eichelberger Reading Specialist Beth Downey launched Eichelberger Reads this school year to help increase the number of books in students’ home libraries.

School staff realized families are busy, Downey said. “So, we wanted to find a way to reach families and make it as easy as possible to share books,” she said.

After brainstorming a few different ideas, Downey created Eichelberger Reads. Each week a staff member volunteers to record themselves reading a book of their choice. Then, every Wednesday the recording is sent to families through email and the Eichelberger Elementary School Twitter account.

Families also get a link that includes every recording so they can revisit their favorite books.

“We also recognize not every family has access to technology at home, so we encourage teachers to use it in class as well,” Downey said.

Eichelberger Elementary School Principal Trevor Harris believes the staff’s support of Eichelberger Reads has helped make the program successful.

“Our staff knows that kids need motivation to read. When students see staff from school reading, they get excited and want to get the book that was read or look for another book by the author,” Harris said.

Adding the personal touch of having Eichelberger staff read to students makes families more excited for the release each week.

“Eichelberger Reads has been a huge success as parents and students are excited to see who the next surprise reader will be,” Harris said.

“Eichelberger Reads is also getting kids excited about reading as I often hear them talking about the book, or who the last reader was. This has been a great program as it is a way for kids to also hear good reading. We also added a library for kids to hear their teachers read to them.”