CLEVELAND – June 7, 2022 – Digital book access for reading and listening for K-12 students has reached a milestone. Students using the free Sora student reading app have now accessed more than 100 million books from their school’s digital collections since Sora launched in 2018. Sora is the award-winning student reading app available in more than 53,000 schools worldwide.
As schools transition to increased use of digital books and reading technologies, educators and school librarians are creatively integrating digital titles and Sora into curriculum programs and pleasure reading. For example, educators use Sora to connect students with their local public library for additional age-appropriate materials through Public Library CONNECT. Also, educators can create their own digital book clubs for students as well as encourage involvement in regional or global programs. Finally, educators can serve those with print or reading disabilities effectively via digital audio, and encourage students to spend more time reading by leveraging Sora’s badges and achievements.
Through Sora and a school-managed account, students have convenient and safe access to age-appropriate ebooks, audiobooks, digital comic books and more from their school’s hand-selected collection. Noteworthy data regarding the 100 million books milestone:
- Digital book formats: ebooks (87%) and audiobooks (13%)
- Top genres: Juvenile fiction/nonfiction, Comics & Graphic Novels, Humor, Young Adult fiction/nonfiction, Fantasy, Picture Book Fiction, Romance, Historical Fiction, Mystery and Biography & Autobiography
- U.S. states with the highest number of digital books accessed: Texas, New York, Wisconsin, Colorado and Massachusetts
- World languages: 18 percent of the 100 million checkouts were non-English titles.
- Top non-English language books: Spanish, German, Chinese, French, Swedish, Japanese, Hebrew, Italian, Afrikaans and Russian
- Top 10 Class Sets titles (by usage): Hoot by Carl Hiaasen, Hidden Figures Young Readers’ Edition by Margot Lee Shetterly, The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros, The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton, Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, Born a Crime by Trevor Noah, Enrique’s Journey by Sonia Nazario, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.
“Sora has been incredibly popular with Stratford School students since we introduced it four years ago,” said Keira Pride, Manager of Library Services at Stratford School (California). “They love the achievement-based app, which reminds them of a fun video game, because it allows them to spend time reading books that they have requested. The built-in dictionary is incredibly useful as it allows their curious minds to define any new or unknown words instantly.”
In addition, Ms. Pride said Sora is ideal for special programs because it encourages reading and collaboration. “We host an annual campus-wide contest which challenges students to reach all 30 achievements in Sora. The students happily share tips and tricks to help their schoolmates reach some of the more challenging achievements. Thank you, Sora, for making reading fun!”
Advantages of digital contribute to ongoing growth
Digital books allow educators more flexibility and options to encourage student reading. In addition to the built-in achievements and dictionary, Public Library CONNECT partnerships between schools and their local public libraries allow students to easily access and read more digital books. With this feature, students use their school credentials through Sora – rather than a separate library card – to log into the local library’s age- and grade-appropriate digital collection. Public library checkouts reached a record high during the 2021-22 school year and continued its impressive rise following triple-digit growth during the pandemic with 8 percent growth through April of 2022.
Digital book clubs offer a fun and interactive method for students to keep reading, even during the summer. An example is the 11th annual Sora Sweet Reads digital reading program taking place now through August 17. Students at participating schools can enjoy free access to 50 popular juvenile and young adult ebooks, audiobooks and Read-Alongs from their school. Past Sora Sweet Reads program data indicates significant readership not only of the program collection, but of other books in the school’s library.
Digital books can be borrowed and read on any device in the classroom, at home and anywhere 24/7. Educators can learn more about how Sora ensures every student has access to the right books at https://discoversora.com.
About OverDrive Education and the Sora student reading app
OverDrive Education, a division of OverDrive, offers the industry’s largest catalog of ebooks, audiobooks, digital magazines and other content for over 53,000 K-12 schools and millions of students worldwide. The company’s student reading app, Sora, provides every student with access to the right books. Supporting the need to read required curriculum titles, class sets and pleasure reading digital books, Sora’s powerful learning tools and insights help meet the needs of students and educators. Sora was named one of TIME’s Best Inventions of 2019. Acquired in 2021, TeachingBooks.net complements Sora with one of the largest catalogs of original and curated literary resources. Founded in 1986, OverDrive – the leading digital reading platform for libraries – and OverDrive Education are based in Cleveland, Ohio USA. www.overdrive.com/schools
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