Kindles are arriving in Oakland — 370 when all is said and done — and students are responding with enthusiasm, appreciation, and gratitude.
Student Chi (Oakland, CA), who received her Kindle today at lunch, already requested Empire of Shadows, by Miriam Forster. She included this note: “I really appreciate you doing this for us. Thank you so much.”
(I’ve found that many students like fantasy, a genre I don’t know too much about, and this book, told from two perspectives, is part of a popular series.)
Other students are also taking advantage of the KCP’s promise: “Read whatever you want, wherever you want, whenever you want.”
Student Chris (Oakland, CA) requested Will Grayson, Will Grayson, which somehow was not yet part of the Kindle Library. (The library now stands at 538 titles.) He made the book request way after school, at around 7:00 pm, just in time for a good evening of reading. This energized me: If we want large gains in reading, and if we want our students to identify as readers, we must extend access to well beyond regular school hours.
It has also been heartwarming to witness the development of communities of readers. Student Katie (Oakland, CA) requested an additional copy of Eleanor & Park, Rainbow Rowell’s extremely popular novel. When more than six students are reading the same title at the same time, a student’s Kindle reads “license limit reached.” To follow Amazon’s terms and conditions, the student requests another copy, and I purchase it immediately.
With Kindles, students can read books with their friends. They don’t have to wait for limited copies of books to become available. (Teacher Marni Spitz in San Francisco wrote thoughtfully about this point in her latest TEACHER VOICES post.)
As you can tell, all of this enthusiasm coming from students is encouraging me to work even harder. It’s a wonderful feeling to get thanks from students who recognize that their obstacles to reading have been removed.
Again, it is important to thank the hundreds of KCP supporters from across the country who understand the importance of providing young people with unmitigated access to books. Thank you!