FARMER CITY — A new tool in technology is giving students at Schneider Elementary School another way to enjoy reading.
Schneider Elementary recently bought BookFlix, a computer program that includes over 100 pairs of e-books for students to read at school or at home on any electronic device that has Internet access.
Blue Ridge librarian Brenda Hendricks said BookFlix is a great resource to offer the students.
"I think it's an excellent opportunity for the kids," Hendricks said. "It gives them a connection to much more information."
The e-books come in pairs, with each set containing a nonfiction and fiction book on a related subject.
Students can watch the fictional story in a video format and either read the nonfiction book or listen along as it is narrated.
For example, a student might watch a video of the children's book "Bear Snores On" and then follow that by reading or listening to a nonfiction book about bear cubs.
Students also have access to additional information about the books including puzzles, author biographies and links to websites that cover related material.
Hendricks said while she still enjoys holding a book in her hand when she reads, she knows that the students need to be able to keep up with today's technological trends and advancements.
She also feels the BookFlix program gives the students access to additional leaning opportunities with each book they read.
But the most important benefit, Hendricks said, is the students seem pretty excited about the program.
"Whatever gets them to read is great," Hendricks said.
Teachers are benefiting from the new computer program too. They can use BookFlix directly in their classroom on SMARTboards, which allows them to discuss the books with the entire class at the same time.
The total cost for BookFlix was about $1,900 and was paid for with money raised during last fall's book fair at Schneider Elementary.
The district's technology coordinator, Eric Barringer, installed the system and had it up and running on March 1.
Hendricks said some students on the Mansfield campus will have a similar program when they go back to school this fall.
Thanks to a grant from the Blue Ridge Education Foundation, fourth- through sixth-graders will be able to use an e-book computer program known as TrueFlix.
Any parent of a Schneider Elementary student who wants to sign up for BookFlix access at home needs to notify the school of their desire to participate in the program. A username and password will then be assigned to each student.
Teachers sent home a sign-up sheet recently and have received 65 responses so far.
Students who don't have any electronic devices at home with Internet access can still utilize BookFlix at a public library, Hendricks said.
Students will still be able to check out hard copies of books throughout the week to take home.
"I think we are going to have a good combination of both," Hendricks said.