The Curriculum Research & Development Group (CRDG) in the UH Mānoa College of Education (COE), in collaboration with the Hawaiʻi Department of Education (HIDOE), is helping to close the reading achievement gap. As part of a grant program in CRDG, the Pacific Literacy Consortium (PLC) and the HIDOE’s Office of Curriculum, Instruction, and Student Support, School Library Services will provide 5,000 children in 11 public elementary schools with access to thousands of electronic books.

“This opportunity is even more critical during the approaching summer months when children’s reading activity typically declines,” said Dr. Hugh Dunn, PLC’s principal investigator and program director. “This phenomenon is often referred to as the summer reading setback, which has an enduring negative effect on student performance.”

With varying genres from which to choose, students can self-select, borrow, and read books on demand anywhere they choose on any Internet accessible device. Kapi‘olani Elementary School librarian, Jo Ann Ishida, said, “This opportunity gives children continuous access to e-books, and we are encouraging our students to read throughout the summer.”

PLC’s mission is to improve children’s literacy outcomes and life opportunities. Through federal grants, the program serves schools that have high percentages of economically-disadvantaged children. PLC provides ongoing professional development, job-embedded coaching, curriculum enhancement, and student-level assessment.

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