Sue Prairie, who teaches at William N. DeBerry Elementary School, is going on her third year working with English language learners. With budget cuts slated to eliminate continued school-level funding for an online reading resource program called Storia, Prairie took to social media to advocate for her school and the children. As her request for help keeping Storia available for the children gained a wider audience, CHD learned of the need and agreed to fund the Storia program at DeBerry School for an entire year.
Representatives of CHD traveled to DeBerry School to make a presentation of funds for another full year of access to Storia for teachers and students at the school to see the software in action during school hours.
“Storia is an online library of more than 6,000 high quality titles at various reading levels,” said Elizabeth Fazio, Principal of DeBerry School. “The program allows teachers to control what books are put on their students’ electronic bookshelves, and for students to pick ‘just right’ books to add to their own bookshelf. The system is flexible so it can be used for whole groups of students, for small groups, or for independent reading and personalized instruction. Storia is great because it infuses learning technology into everyday lessons. It helps students access books on laptops at school, and also enables them to access books at home, if they have internet access there, to strengthen the school-home connection.”
Storia is not only for English language learners. All students can benefit from access to so many reading titles to support their academic growth. Storia has lots of traditional chapter books as well as “leveled” books. That means if students are doing a unit in science, such as the life cycle, the teacher can pull a range of books specifically about the life cycle that are at each student’s reading level.
“It is wonderful to have the support of a community partner such as CHD to help the school provide resources that are helping to improve instruction, technology literacy, and student performance for all students,” said Fazio. “The Storia online library helps children develop twenty-first century skills as they access appropriate learning content at their own reading level. It also provides key data for teachers, essentially an electronic bookmark that helps them track individual student progress.”
Founded in 1972, Center for Human Development (CHD) is a nonprofit, CARF-accredited organization providing a broad range of high quality, community-oriented human services to 17,000 children, adolescents, adults, and families each year. The organization is dedicated to promoting, enhancing and protecting the dignity and welfare of people in need. www.chd.org