OHM BOCES unveils remote eBook program

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With students at home and libraries closed due to COVID-19, many educators are using the Oneida/Herkimer School Library System (O/H SLS) to help continue on a remote basis the adventures and exploration offered by books, says Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES.

As part of the O/H SLS, students from schools throughout the region are able to borrow audio and eBooks from school and public library collections using a Sora student reading app on their own mobile devices or computers, according to a OHM BOCES announcement.

The Sora app allows students to set their own pace; return borrowed titles automatically; take notes and define words while reading; track their reading progress and even select a font option that’s easier to read for children with dyslexia, BOCES said.

Among results, since remote learning began in March the Thomas Jefferson Elementary School in the Utica school district has consistently been atop the list of O/H SLS schools with the most students using Sora, the announcement noted. Principal Vanessa Rejrat praised the Sora platform app’s accessibility, diversity and achievement recognition system which help build students’ participation.

OHM BOCES Coordinator of SLS & Media Services Elizabeth Hartnett said “our local school librarians’ efforts have really paid off and it is so great to see their enthusiasm passed on to their students....We’re so pleased that we’re able to bring equity to students who may have had a tough time accessing books if they hadn’t known that this service is available to them.”

The O/H SLS is an organization of 22 school districts and four nonpublic schools in the OHM BOCES region that provide library coordination and services to member libraries under a plan approved by the commissioner of education.

Among districts served by OHM BOCES: Brookfield, Clinton, Holland Patent, New Hartford, New York Mills, Oriskany, Remsen, Sauquoit Valley, Utica, Waterville, Westmoreland and Whitesboro.

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