West Local School District Superintendent Jeff Stricklett says the school administration is constantly making strives to provide better opportunities for young West Senators, whether it is technological opportunities or increased literacy campaigns.
The most recent of these strides includes both, thanks to a partnership with the myON literacy program and Southern Ohio Medical Center.
myON provides access to an extensive library of enhanced digital books with multimedia scaffolds to support student reading at all levels. West Superintendent Jeff Stricklett believes the program will pay dividends for their district in the coming years.
The program is part of a larger effort to use technology to promote literacy. As part of the program, new parents from the West School District will also receive myON access when they receive care at Southern Ohio Medical Center.
The program is costing $3,000 for locals to utilize, but SOMC has covered over half the cost with a grant for $2,000.
“This makes sure our students come in prepared,” Stricklett said. “myON puts thousands of books at the parents’ fingertips, all of which can be accessed through any mobile device.”
myON also has a lot of unique features to help children learn to read, such as interactive reading lessons, programs that read books while highlighting words for children to follow along, and more.
“It is proven that students who are read to learn at a much faster rate and at a higher level,” Stricklett explained. “We want future students to have a massive library available to them, for parents to read to them and for them to learn to read, before they even step foot in school.”
Stricklett said the desire to pursue myON came from the lack of reading materials in the area. There is no library in West Portsmouth and the superintendent says it isn’t feasible for every family to make regular trips to the Portsmouth Public Library. Getting the program for the students has been a process, too, taking two years of preparation.
Stricklett said the program will impact classrooms from the start of education up to eighth grade, since teachers will be able to allow students to utilize all titles in the program.
The school is also keeping a priority on physical, hard copies of books for the school libraries.
“Our goal is to tackle increasing literacy from birth to eighth grade,” Stricklett said. “Whenever a husband or wife goes into SOMC, and they are a district resident, they will receive the app to be used on nearly any electronic device. They will then have over 4,000 children book titles at their fingertips.”
According to Stricklett, Washington-Nile School District is the first school district in Ohio to utilize the program for every students in their elementary and middle schools.
For more information about MyON, visit www.myON.com.
Reach Joseph Pratt at 740-353-3101, ext. 1932, or by Twitter @JosephPratt03.