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Adirondack Academy aims to increase literacy through reading challenge

March 1, 2024 | Filed in Archive, HFM Adirondack Academy, HFM Top Stories

Adirondack Academy recently kicked off a reading challenge at the school hosting an event to discuss resources available to students to help increase literacy skills and fuel reading enjoyment.

Throughout the month of March, which is National Reading Month, students have been tasked with taking part in a building-wide, reading challenge to help increase literacy. The challenge will consist of teams of students and teachers competing against each other to see who can read the most number of pages each day at school. Prizes will be awarded to the top three students each week and the team that reads the greatest number of pages by the end of the challenge will also win a pizza party.

On hand to talk about the various resources available to students was Kristi Beedon, Director of the Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery BOCES School Library System. Beedon’s presentation included an overview of SORA, a free digital/audiobook resource available through the HFM Instructional Resource Center. SORA is an award-winning digital reading app that empowers K-12 students to discover age-appropriate ebooks, audiobooks and more from their school library.

According to Beedon, one of the challenges students have faced over the years has been equity and access to books.

“Some students in smaller schools don’t have the opportunities like those in larger school districts to gain access to a diverse collection of books, so this (SORA) is a way for them to experience that,” said Beedon.

Through SORA, students in the HFM region have access to over 5,000 e-books, more than 250 magazines, and 800 plus audiobooks. In addition, HFM BOCES has combined with 36 other BOCES across the state to offer the ‘New York Reads’ collection. This collection includes over 800 e-books and audiobooks which are classified as unlimited, simultaneous use books. To top things off, students can also gain access to over 2,000 comic books.

During the event, students were reminded about the variety of books and resources available to them through the Adirondack Academy library. A number of books recommended to read by staff members were on display and students were also encouraged to select a new book to read during DEAR (Drop Everything and Read) time, in which students participate daily.

Adirondack Academy, the HFM BOCES Alternative Education program, is specifically designed to help students who have encountered obstacles in the regular school setting. ADK’s alternative education emphasizes small class sizes and close relationships with teachers, staff and administrators.