Tuscaloosa City Schools Keeps Kids Learning with New Sora App

22 May 2020
RQES librarian Amelia Pilsch says the Sora student reading app provides a way for students to keep reading – even without physically being in the library to check out a book. RQES librarian Amelia Pilsch says the Sora student reading app provides a way for students to keep reading – even without physically being in the library to check out a book. Amelia Pilsch

With the outbreak of COVID-19 and the subsequent break from school, the Tuscaloosa City Schools system is trying to help students find new ways to learn while they’re away from the classroom. One such way is a reading service known as “Sora” by OverDrive 

Sora is the student reading app, which provides free, 24/7 access to eBooks and audiobooks for grades K-12. The idea, according to Rock Quarry Elementary School librarian Amelia Pilsch, is to engage a student’s mind through reading.  

“I am so proud that my district already had many supports in place for students before the coronavirus outbreak and the subsequent break from school,” she said. “Reading is at the top of my list of activities to promote during this break from school. It’s a great time to ditch assigned reading and choose books in Sora that spark interest and excitement.” 

The “Sora Sweet Reads” program began on Apr. 15 and will run through July 31. The program offers a collection of juvenile and young adult titles prominently displayed in Sora for quick, easy, and unlimited access.  

Although it’s a subscription service, titles in Sora can be customized and are curated by school librarians. Students can also request titles, and Pilsch says many do. Books can then be purchased frequently and added quickly. 

Books in Sora are not just the books our students see in their physical school library but also books kids want to read,” Pilsch said, adding that becoming a “bookworm” is one of the best ways to prevent learning loss. 

And the best thing about Sora, according to Pilsch 

“It provides remote access to a huge library from home, helping to keep our families safe and healthy. 

For more information about Sora, visit meet.soraapp.com 

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