Kindles Now Available For Checkout At Sandy Hook School
By Eliza Hallabeck
Sandy Hook School fourth graders Henry Wishneski, Colton Procaccini, Devin O’Connell, and Emmanuel Wilford were the first in line on Monday, December 12, to checkout a new option at their school’s library: Amazon’s Kindle.
Monday was the first day the e-readers became available for students to sign out from the school library, and the new option made the elementary school the first in the district to offer the option to take Kindles out on loan.
By the time students now in kindergarten through fourth grade enter high school, Sandy Hook School library/media specialist Yvonne Cech said on Monday, there is a likelihood that text books will be available in e-book form.
“We wanted to get them started with the process now,” said Ms Cech, regarding preparing the students for an educational future where e-readers and online e-books could be more prevalent.
Ms Cech also said she has high hopes the new lending program will save money for the school. Instead of purchasing six books, Ms Cech said she can purchase one licensed e-book that can be distributed to six e-readers.
Funding for Sandy Hook School’s eight Kindles came from multiple areas. The first couple were free through a publisher promotion, according to Ms Cech; the Sandy Hook School PTA also funded the school’s Kindle inventory through a grant, and multiple were purchased with funds raised through Box Tops for Education, a program that allows shoppers to donate money to local schools with no extra cost to the online or in-store shoppers.
Only fourth graders at Sandy Hook School can sign out Kindles, said Ms Cech, and, due to the expense of the e-readers, only students with signed parent permission forms can checkout a Kindle.
Before allowing students to sign out the Kindles, Ms Cech said she asked students to take a survey that asked questions about how much the students know regarding e-readers. Multiple weeks were then spent on teaching the students how to use the Kindles, Ms Cech said.
Also before students could take out the e-readers, Ms Cech said each Kindle was loaded with free e-books. Classics, she said, like The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams and Francis Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden, are available for free download. Each Kindle was also loaded with three to four contemporary titles to entice the students a bit more, according to Ms Cech.
When asked why he wanted to check out his Kindle on Monday, Emmanuel said, “So I could try to get a Rick Riordon book in electronic version.”
Devin had a different reason.
“Just to read what’s on it,” Devin said.
Newtown students also have the option of reading e-books online on their personal computers, according to Ms Cech, through the schools’ online catalogs.
Ms Cech also said if anyone is interested in donating to the school, “We would love that.”
Ms Cech said anyone who is interested in donating can contact her at the school for more information.
More information about Box Tops for Education is available at www.boxtops4education.com.