Field Report: Wandoo Reader School Pilot Program

Posted by Susan M. Brackney and Lindsey Hill

Andy Plemmons, a teacher librarian at David C. Barrow Elementary School, and Jonathan Dolce, Head Children’s Librarian at Athens Regional Public Library, have teamed up to improve children’s literacy levels where they live. According to Dolce, their town of Athens, Georgia has a literacy rate of just around 20 percent.

wandoo-reader-kickoff-14To boost that rate—especially among children—Plemmons and Dolce are piloting Wandoo Reader, our newest reader engagement platform, with students in the third, fourth, and fifth grades.

“If we want to close the achievement gaps in reading, then one of the most important steps is getting the right books in kids’ hands and giving them time to read and to have fun with that reading,” Plemmons notes.

Developed to be more than a simple reading tracker, Wandoo Reader features a compelling story and game-ified elements that make logging the books they’ve read both fun and intrinsically rewarding for kids. The ultimate goal? Drive more readers—including reluctant readers—to participate in reading programs and develop a long-term reading habit. While Wandoo Reader is currently available for use in public libraries, the software is still in development for use in schools.

Screen Shot 2014-11-18 at 3.57.58 PMResults So Far

Since the Wandoo Reader school pilot program began in September, over 200 students have used the software to log their reading. As kids track what they’ve read, they “unlock” different parts to create their own customized robots. To date, users have completed a total of 881 books and logged 559,117 minutes of reading.

Over the past several weeks, student engagement has fluctuated. On average, about 50 students regularly log in to track their reading, and school library circulation numbers are up.

Plemmons has discussed the importance of the data being collected with his students and what those data might mean: “For example, if I see that a student clicks ‘still reading’ on multiple books and never clicks ‘finished reading,’ it might reveal to me that the student isn’t finding a good match for reading. If a student reads the exact same book over and over, it might reveal to me that I need to have a conversation with that student to find similar books to the trusted favorite. If I notice that several students are reading a lot in a particular genre, it might reveal to me that I need to purchase more of that genre for our library collection.”

Watch This Space!

We will continue to track the Athens students’ progress here, along with a few other Wandoo Reader school pilot programs currently underway.

Want to see Wandoo Reader for yourself? You can take a self-guided tour of both the patron- and staff-facing sides of each of our room-booking, event calendaring, and reader engagement tools. Or simply call 888.331.0032 or contact the sales team to schedule a free, personalized demo.

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