Tupelo Schools to offer eBooks for summer

news_education_greenBy Chris Kieffer

Daily Journal

TUPELO – Tupelo students will have a digital option for their summer reading this year.

Kindergartners through 12th-graders will be able to download eBooks they can access on any digital device. They can follow a link that will be posted on each school’s website and will allow them to log in using their Classworks ID. The digital books can be checked out for a temporary period of time and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Those links, through the company Follett, will become active when the school year concludes.

The goal was to provide easy access to the books, said Assistant Superintendent Kim Britton, noting it was Superintendent Gearl Loden’s idea.

“Children may be away with grandparents or on vacation and ready for a book, and they can go to TupeloSchools.com and log in and get that book,” she said.

The summer reading is optional for elementary students, although some secondary courses will have required readings. Students also will be able to take Accelerated Reader tests on their home computers to earn incentives they will receive when they return to school in the fall.

Students also will be able to get the books or use the computers at their school media centers, which will be open every Thursday during the summer from noon to 6 p.m. The only school whose media center will not be open is Joyner Elementary, where construction is ongoing to repair tornado damage.

In addition, this year’s kindergarten to fifth-grade students will receive summer learning packets on May 22. Those packets will have language and math activities they can complete during the summer in order to keep their skills sharp.

Students also will earn incentives – such as a popcorn party or snow cone party – for completing the activities. They are designed to be done either individually or with family members, Britton said.

This will be the second year the district has used the summer learning packets. The activities were developed by the district’s teachers.

“The research is there that elementary students regress over the summer,” Britton said. “We want them to practice their reading skills and their math skills. It is not to give them a glimpse of the next year, but it is to keep their skills sharp from the previous school year.”

chris.kieffer@journalinc.com