NEWBURYPORT — Discovering history at Nock Middle School just got a little more exciting with the donation of e-readers to the school by the Newburyport Education Foundation (NEF).
The Discovering History program, which pairs seventh-grade students with an adult to read a historical fiction novel, will now benefit from the latest technology, thanks to the NEF. Seventh-grade teacher Lisa Furlong and Nock Middle School librarian Ellen Menesale launched the Discovering History program three years ago as a way to engage students in history and instill a love of reading. Now a donation of 28 Nooks, books and equipment at a cost of $3,500 is making the program state-of-the-art.
"This is a great tool for getting students excited about reading and it will also make discussions very interactive," said Menesale. "We encourage both the student and their 'reading buddy' to explore the Nook and use it for adding notes and bookmarks to the book as they read."
In the program, students select one of seven historical fiction books, read a packet of non-fiction information and pick an adult partner with whom to read. Students chose moms, dads, older siblings, grandparents and teachers as partners. At the end of each month, the student and partner attend a book club night hosted by Furlong and Menesale to learn more about the period in history and to share ideas about the book. This month, students are reading "Mississippi Trial 1955" on e-readers.
"Students are motivated to read with an adult they care about and are learning about history because they are engaged in the story," said Menesale. "These Nooks make it even harder for them to put the book down. They love it."
Menesale hopes this pilot program of using the Nooks will grow to include more books and e-readers as the Nock library continues to change and evolve to meet the needs of today's tech-savvy students.
For more information about the Newburyport Education Foundation, email info@NewburyportEF.org, or visit www.NewburyportEF.org.