Kansas Launches Statewide Blended Learning Initiative to Boost Reading with BookNook

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An new partnership between the Kansas Reading Roadmap and BookNook's online reading platform will be rolled out in schools across Kansas as part of a statewide initiative aimed at improving early reading achievement through blended learning

"BookNook is a powerful reading intervention...on the cutting edge where pedagogy, research, and technology meet."

As part of its comprehensive effort to improve reading achievement for children, the Kansas Reading Roadmap (KRR) announced a new partnership with BookNook, a California-based social enterprise with a proven track record of helping students make measurable gains in reading achievement.

Through this innovative program--the first of its kind deployed on a statewide level--61 elementary schools in diverse communities across Kansas will implement a new adaptive and interactive technology platform that uses proven strategies to improve reading for students while they work collaboratively in small groups.

“Our approach takes afterschool, family engagement and summer programming to a new level by aligning it with science-based classroom instruction,” said Andrew Hysell, Executive Director of Reading Roadmap. “BookNook is a powerful reading intervention that strengthens that alignment and we are excited to be on the cutting edge where pedagogy, research, and technology meet.”

Five KRR partner schools participated in a pilot program with BookNook over the past school year, along with 23 other sites in California, Texas, and Georgia. Based on school-administered assessments, 93% of BookNook students showed significant improvement in their reading. Despite being a year behind on average when they began, 44% of students caught up to grade level by the end of the school year.

"BookNook is a very promising new technology that is aligned with research on advancing reading development,” said Prof. P. David Pearson at the University of California, Berkeley, former Dean of the Graduate School of Education and a nationally renowned expert in early reading. “These early results are quite encouraging."

Now in its third year, KRR has been successful in significantly improving reading performance for thousands of children across the state. An evaluation by the Center for Public Partnerships and Research at the University of Kansas found 57% growth in reading scores among children attending the KRR afterschool program, as measured by school-administered assessments.

“We’ve been impressed with the creativity, enthusiasm for innovation, and focus on student outcomes we’ve seen among Kansas educators,” said Michael Lombardo, Founder and CEO of BookNook. “We look forward to working together to help students continue advancing their reading skills.”

About the KRR

The KRR is based on the idea that afterschool programs for at-risk children must have more academic impact. Funded by the Kansas Department for Children and Families, the KRR works in partnership with the Kansas State Department of Education’s Technical Assistance Systems Network (TASN). Founded in 2014, the Kansas Reading Roadmap now partners with over 60 schools and has recently expanded into Mississippi.

About BookNook

BookNook is a social enterprise based in Oakland, California that is working to change the when, where, and who of small group learning for children. It’s platform is used by dozens of school districts and nonprofits across nine states. Founded in 2016, the company’s early investors include Reach Capital, Better Ventures, and the Urban Innovation Fund. For more information visit booknooklearning.com.

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