Nook e-readers have made their way into Lancaster school classrooms and they are quite a hit among the students.
The Nooks – which in large part got their kickoff in Lancaster through a donation from the Lancaster Educational and Alumni Foundation – are making reading more fun for children of all ages.
The Lancaster School Board on Monday heard a detailed presentation from Middle School Librarian Christine Stockslader on how the gadgets are being used and even loaned to students to use outside of school for two weeks at a time. In the Middle School alone, more than 500 permission slips are overflowing in a file from students whose parents are allowing them to use the e-readers.
“Nooks are an amazing opportunity for our students,” said Stockslader, who also is the department chairman for the district’s libraries. She noted that their availability in the district allows students who otherwise may not have access or the ability to use an e-reader outside of school.
After doing a joint fundraiser with the district last June, the foundation spent about $2,200 to buy 17 Simple Touch Nooks and four Nook tablets. The devices first made their entry into daily use in the schools last fall. The Nooks are used in conjunction with the Barnes & Noble Nooks in Education Program.
“Our popularity of our Nooks is very high. The (students) are very excited to use this technology,” Stockslader told the board.
In fact, the Nooks are such a hot item that Stockslader said there is interest in buying more Nooks to meet the students’ needs. Students are finding they can download e-books onto their “smart” devices. E-books are presently available at the high school, middle school and William Street School. Each Nook has an average of about 10 e-books on it.
“Print resources are not going away, but we also want to meet the needs of the students,” she said.
Beyond what the foundation recently bought last summer, the district – through its library budgets – additionally purchased supplemental Nooks to span fourth through 12th grades. On average, there are at least 10 Nooks per school building.
Also Monday, the School Board received unusual “token” gifts in the form of hockey pucks.
The newly-formed Lancaster/Iroquois Girls’ Hockey Team was honored in front of the board. Fifteen players stood before the board in their red, black and white jerseys to present the newly-merged team. Lancaster has had a girls’ hockey team for four years, but merged this school year with Iroquois, which never had one until now.
Lancaster Athletic Director Brian Wild praised the effort, as well as one of the team’s coaches, Pete Tonsoline. “This merger was an amazing feat,” Tonsoline said. “It’s been a union made in heaven.”
Board Vice President Wendy Buchert noted the support in the community for the team. “I support this team wholeheartedly,” she said. “These girls play as a team.”