Tagged: kindle classroom project

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Amazon Education donates 200 Kindle Fires!

favicon This is a wonderful way to start a week!

Amazon Education has generously donated 200 Kindle Fire HDs and 200 cases to the Kindle Classroom Project. This is one of the largest donations in KCP history!

 

I am very grateful to Alicia (San Mateo, CA), who connected me in February with representatives at Amazon. After several conversations, the team at Amazon Education in Seattle followed up and completed the gift.

The Kindles and cases arrived on Friday and are ready to be processed, assembled, registered, and delivered to students next month!

The devices will go to students at Envision Academy in Oakland. Last year, the school ran a very successful reading program, with every student having the chance to read on a Kindle. With these new devices, I look forward to deepening our partnership this year.

 

One big benefit of this donation is that it means that students and teachers at Envision Academy will not have to learn how to use various types of Kindles. Even though Kindles are relatively easy to navigate, it’s better if everybody is using the same version.

Additionally, because Fires come with color touch screens and speakers, students will have access to all of the features that the Kindle affords, including text-to-speech.

Thank you again to the team at Amazon Education! This is a huge day for the Kindle Classroom Project, and I really appreciate your enormous contribution. favicon

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Megabook Initiative donates 36 Kindles!

favicon I thought Karen-Alexandra Nogues was donating one Kindle when she completed the Donate Kindle form last week. It turns out that Ms. Nogues, founder and executive director of Megabook Initiative, intended on donating 36 Kindles!

Thank you very much for this wonderful and generous donation.

Megabook Initiative believes that today’s readers are tomorrow’s leaders. The program distributes devices to children in places where access to books is limited, including Ivory Coast and Togo. Ms. Nogues understands the importance of reading and found the Kindle Classroom Project through its partnership with Worldreader.

Here’s an interview with Ms. Nogues about Megabook Initiative. It’s a few years old, when Ms. Nogues was a senior in high school. Now she attends Harvard University and will graduate next year.

I’m impressed with Ms. Nogues, her commitment to young people, and her ability to explain clearly the importance of reading. We believe in many of the same things!

I look forward to getting these 36 Kindles ready for students in Oakland and San Francisco. Maybe they’ll go to ninth grade teacher Shannon, who maintains a robust physical classroom library and is ready for a Kindle pilot. favicon

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The Kindle Classroom Project is expanding.

Would you like to volunteer to help out?

favicon Lately, when people hear about the Kindle Classroom Project, they want to know more about my “team.” They use the second-person-plural, as in, “How do you all manage more than 1,000 Kindles?” They’re shocked when I tell them the KCP is a one-person operation (plus a kind army of friends and family who work tirelessly at Kindle Parties).

To regain their composure, they ask, “So you do this full time, then?” It’s a common question. A new teacher at Envision Academy assumed that when students called me “the Kindle guy,” that meant running the KCP was my job. Nope. All the work I do on the Kindle Classroom Project is done outside of business hours.

I humbly announce that it’s time to ask for some help.

With the recent donation of 458 Kindles (thank you, Worldreader!), the size and scope of the program have exploded. The demand is high, too. In just a few weeks, I’m beginning a pilot in three new schools in Oakland. Two additional schools want whole-school implementation in the 2017-18 school year. The sky’s the limit.

About 100 Kindles, part of the gargantuan Worldreader donation.

With all this growth, I’m coming to terms on two things: (1) I no longer can do this alone; (2) I can’t pay anyone (yet) to help me.

Therefore, Would you like to volunteer for the Kindle Classroom Project? If you love to read, and if you care about the reading lives of young people in Oakland and San Francisco, you could be a great match. Why not try it out?

The KCP needs help in the following areas:

Buying books for students. Students request books every day. The KCP’s pledge is to honor their request by the next day. This means checking the website every night, buying books on Amazon (with funds donated by generous KCP supporters), and notifying the student of the good news. If you’re interested in helping out with book buying, you would need a computer and 15 minutes a day.

Prepping donated Kindles for students. Kindles arrive from across the country every day, and it takes about 10-20 minutes to prep each one for students. This job involves resetting the Kindle to factory settings, setting up parental controls, adding the Kindle to the website, and a few other secret steps. If you’re interested in prepping Kindles, you would need a computer and about 1-2 hours a week.

(Perhaps) helping to build a nonprofit organization. If you have a legal background and can assist with whether it makes sense if the Kindle Classroom Project becomes a 501c3 nonprofit organization, that would be very helpful, too. I know that there are pros and cons to moving in this direction, so it would be great to get some professional advice.

Please let me know if you’re interested in any of these volunteer opportunities! Let me know by sending me a note: the easiest way is clicking on the “Email us” button in the lower-right corner of this page. Thank you. With your help, the KCP can keep growing in 2017 and meeting the reading needs of Bay Area students! favicon

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Kindle Classroom Project:

Any book, anytime, anywhere

favicon A few weeks ago, I reported that students in the Kindle Classroom Project were reading over Thanksgiving Break. Well, the reading is continuing over Winter Break, too!

Students are reading and finishing books, and they’re requesting new ones. Thanks to generous KCP supporters ($390 in donations just this week!), I’m able to honor students’ requests, no matter when they send them to me — morning, noon, or night!

The KCP believes that students should be able to read any book, anytime, anywhere. This means books that they want to read, not that they’re told to read. This means mornings before school, evenings after school, weekends, Thanksgivings, winter breaks, and summers. And this means at home, on the bus, at their grandparents’ house—and everywhere in between.

Here is just a snapshot of the reading that is happening right now:

I continue to be pleasantly surprised about how much science fiction and fantasy that KCP students in Oakland are devouring. This is Kaleka’s third year in the program, and she has no problem requesting books she wants to read. In fact, a few days ago, she emailed me in a panic that Zodiac was not appearing on the Kindle. (It was my mistake, which I fixed.) I love receiving Kaleka’s reviews and kind words about the KCP.

I was very happy to see that Maria made a request today of Eleanor and Park, a popular title among KCP students. (The license limit had been reached.) Sometimes, Maria feels shy to request new books, but her adviser and I keep on reminding her that the KCP is about reading and that Maria shouldn’t feel bashful.

Stephen just received his Kindle Fire a few months ago. I helped him set it up, plus I showed him the website, and it didn’t take long until he became a voracious reader. Now he is feeling comfortable requesting books; Calamity is his latest choice. Good thing KCP sustaining supporter Nicole (Quincy, MA) pledged a recurring Amazon Allowance. (Thank you!) Stephen knows that Nicole has his back.

Is this all as uplifting to you as it is to me? If it is, I have a button for you to press!




What’s great about donating to the Kindle Classroom Project is that 100% of your gift (after PayPal’s fee — if you want to avoid it, go here) goes to buying books that students want. These are not books that I think students might like; these aren’t books for whole-class novel study; these aren’t “good-for-you” books that students “should read.” Rather, these are books that students request, 100%.

Your gift also doesn’t go to administrative costs, like keeping up this website, or sending you a thank-you card, or the hours of work volunteers will put in at the Kindle Prep Party next month (want to come?). It goes to a student who gets to choose a book.

And then a few more cool things happen once the student gets the book they’ve requested. The book is never lost; it never goes missing; it never gets destroyed through over-reading; and it’s shared with all the students in the Kindle Classroom Project. In other words, your donation is a permanent one to students in Oakland and San Francisco.

If you’re maybe interested in donating but not quite sure, feel free to contact me. There’s an “Email Us” button at the bottom right of the screen. Have a great Winter Break! favicon

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Check out what students are reading over Thanksgiving break

favicon My experience says that independent reading programs don’t work well unless students approach what researchers call “voluminous reading.” There’s simply not enough time in school for students to complete the 10, 20, perhaps 40 books a year necessary to transform into avid readers.

That’s why a core tenet of the Kindle Classroom Project is to let students take their Kindles home and to request books whenever they like. The KCP believes that young people should be able to read what they like, wherever and whenever they like.

This Thanksgiving break, it’s clear that students are taking advantage of this 24/7 access to reading. The book requests are streaming in, and it’s an honor to fulfill them. Here’s a taste of what students are reading this long weekend.

– Ninth grader Ricardo (Oakland, CA) is reading Library of Souls, by Ransom Riggs.

library-of-souls-by-ransom-riggs

– Eleventh grader Carlos (Oakland, CA) is reading It Calls You Back, by Luis Rodriguez.

it-calls-you-back-by-luis-rodriguez

– Tenth grader Paulina (Oakland, CA) is reading Bronxwood, by Coe Booth.

bronxwood-by-coe-booth

– Twelfth grader Monica (Oakland, CA) is reading We Were Liars, by E. Lockhart.

we-were-liars-by-e-lockhart

I wish Ricardo, Carlos, Paulina, Monica, and all 900 KCP students a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend of reading and relaxation. Thank you also to the generous supporters who have helped the program grow by leaps and bounds in 2016. favicon

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This is the 900th book in the KCP Library!

favicon Say hello to the 900th book in the Kindle Classroom Project Library!

hyperbole-and-a-half-by-allie-brosh

The book, Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened, by Allie Brosh, was requested by Oakland ninth grader Steven earlier this week.

This New York Times bestseller is about being weird and awkward and having emotions. Bill Gates called the book “funny and smart as hell.” Another review likened Hyperbole to a book David Sedaris would write if he happened to know how to draw.

Steven is a fantastic reader and has great taste in books. Many ninth grade boys at Envision Academy in Oakland are “reading leaders” — in other words, avid readers who also help build the KCP Library with their astute requests.

At the center of the KCP is this ability for students to request books that they want to read. Generous KCP supporters donate money so that students can make those requests. As a result, a trust develops: Young people know that we care about their reading interests, because we make books that they want to read available to them 100% of the time.

If you’d like to learn more about the project, here’s a one-pager that describes the program. If you’d like to make a cash gift, here is an easy way to donate. Thank you! favicon

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What the KCP Means to Me:

Pricila | San Francisco, California

Snoopy Readingfavicon When I first started using my Kindle I was in the 9th grade. I thought reading was the worst thing in the world. I kept telling myself that reading was just a waste of time and that it was boring. Whenever I had to read, I would think about it too much, and in the end, I wouldn’t read anything.

Last year when my 9th grade Reading Lab teacher, Ms. Spitz, told us we had to choose a book to read, I thought, This class is going to be the most boring class of all.

But the reality was different. The book I chose was the first book I have ever really enjoyed reading.

Then, two weeks later, I got my Kindle. My best friend and I were really excited about getting Kindles. I read more than 10 books on my Kindle. I read all the books that Simone Elkeles has written and nine books by other authors.

I’m really happy and proud of all the books I’ve read and what I’ve accomplished over the past school year and the summer. I kept my book during the summer and finished two books. I would have read more, but I was busy most of my summer.

Thanks to the Kindle Classroom Project, my interest for reading has grown a lot over the years. I’ve found so many good book in the Kindle Library. In the Kindle Library, there is a huge variety of books—books of all types of genres. I would like to thank Ms. Spitz and the KCP for the opportunity to read on a Kindle. Thank you! favicon

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Kindle Classroom Project reaches milestone: 800 students will read on Kindles this year!

favicon I am very happy to announce that the Kindle Classroom Project has reached another big milestone. The 800th Kindle arrived yesterday. Here it is!

IMG_20160712_174212

Big thanks to Liz (Columbia, MD), who donated this 800th Kindle, a new Fire. Thank you very much, Liz! Already a KCP supporter, Liz contributed again, taking advantage of Amazon’s recent Prime Day sale.

Liz’s Kindle is the 186th Kindle donated this year. That’s about one Kindle a day!

image

For the first time ever, the Kindle Classroom Project will serve an entire school beginning next month. Every single student at Envision Academy in Oakland will get a Kindle and access to a library of nearly 800 books, plus the ability to request new books, thanks to supporters’ generous donations.

If you’re interested in donating your used Kindle, go to the Donate Kindle page. If you would like to make a cash donation for books, in order to support all 800 students and their reading interests, please go to the Contribute page. favicon

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What the KCP Means to Me:

Bryant | Oakland, California

7c363d8e3c966597f90311d14d81d236favicon If I had to identify the exact point in time when I started to actually like reading, I’d say it was somewhere around fifth grade, when my rather annoying 10-year-old self discovered the magic of Harry Potter. (Ha, see what I did there? Magic. Get it? It’s funny.)

Though I was obviously far too young to really appreciate the nuances of J.K. Rowling’s writing, I enjoyed it nonetheless: I loved Harry, I loved the Wizarding World, I loved how the adults in Harry’s life thought repeatedly sending a minor into life-threatening danger would be a good idea.

After that, being the little ambitious fifth grader prone to delusions of grandeur I was, I decided to set out and prove to the world that I was the most avid reader ever. When that aspiration crashed and burned just like every other dream I’ve ever had in my life, I decided to lower my expectations and settle for just being an avid reader.

Because I file everything not strictly related to academics into the “more or less useless” information part of my mind at the end of every school year, I can’t tell you exactly what impressions the books I read in middle school left on me, but my fondness for reading grew at about the same rate the acne of my classmates’ faces did during those days.

After hearing that more or less useless account of my reading history, I think I can safely say how pleased I am to be part of the Kindle Classroom Project without sounding like I’m only saying it because I’m obligated to do so (which I am) and being insincere with my words (which I’m not).

I’m antisocial and introverted, and no love of reading can fix that, so I don’t particularly enjoy having to go to the library. I don’t like having to awkwardly stand there while a librarian checks out my books and silently judges me on my selection. Now, with the Kindle Classroom Project, I don’t have to!

While I’m not one of those kids from the part of my generation who have trouble returning pencils they borrow (at least, I don’t think I am), I somehow still feel much more at ease having a Kindle on hand instead instead of, say, 732 physical copies of all the books in the KCP library. It’s much more convenient and easier for me now to make use of and appreciate my literacy with the Kindle.

If I feel like reading a book, I can just click on the title and wait a minute or so for it to download. If all the digital copies of the book are checked out, I can simply request another copy online instead of being put on some library waiting list, which, granted, only happened to me once at the Oakland Public Library, but the waiting list was 40 people long and made the task of finishing my summer reading list more cumbersome.

If I feel like reading into the wee hours of the night because I didn’t feel like I read enough during the day, I don’t need to turn on the light to see what I’m reading; the Kindle is the light! Of course, reading in the dark while staring at an LCD screen isn’t the best way to take care of your eyes, too, but I already wear glasses, so the worst thing that can happen to me from reading a Kindle at night is eye fatigue.

Because of the KCP, my love for reading has flourished and ignited in ways I never thought it was capable of before. Why, just a few months ago, I decided to read Pride and Prejudice on my Kindle just for the hell of it. Yes, I may not have understood half of the book, but I would have never even considered checking out a physical copy from the library. If my growing passion for reading was a fire, then I guess you could say my Kindle was… kindling for that flame. (See what I did there? Again, nothing? Come on, it’s funny.) favicon

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Upgrading to the Kindle Oasis? Donate your used Kindle to students in the SF Bay Area!

favicon I admit it: Though I have no reason to, I’ll be buying the new Kindle Oasis.

Kindle Oasis 3

My Kindle Voyage is fine. And so is my Kindle Keyboard. But I’ve owned every single Kindle since the Kindle 2, and there’s no stopping me. Despite the steep $289 price tag, I’ll be getting an Oasis when it comes out later this month.

It turns out that I’m not alone. A couple days ago, I read that 41 percent of Kindle sales come from current Kindle owners. This means that there are millions of used Kindles in people’s homes across the country, ready to be given away — to partners, children, grandchildren, and friends.

In case you’ve already saturated your friends and families with your previous Kindles, you should consider donating your latest device to students in Oakland and San Francisco.

I run the Kindle Classroom Project, a program that promotes the love and power of reading. Students get a Kindle and anytime access to a library of 730+ books, along with the right to request new books they like. With the KCP, students read what they want, where they want, whenever they want.

Kindles encourage young people to read more because good books are always in their hands.

If you’re interested in donating your old Kindle, check out testimonials from students and teachers. And once you’re convinced, head over to the Donate page to take the next step. Thank you for donating your Kindle, and enjoy your Oasis (as will I)! favicon