Nooks instead of books

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)-Students at one Region 8 school are pulling out their nooks instead of their books.

Around 600 students at Douglas MacArthur Junior High School in Jonesboro are getting nooks.

Library Media Specialist at MacArthur, Cindy Calhoun, is the person responsible for first getting this project started.

Calhoun says things first began in October of last year as an idea for a few devices for one classroom.

"This all originated with the reading in the English classes," Calhoun said. "It comes through The Learning Institute. There are usually four titles, one for each nine weeks of the school year. Instead of us going to a paper copy or hard copy, we decided to delve into what is out there digitally. E books and E readers seem to be what students and adults for that matter are into. So, we began checking into that. Looking at which device would fit our needs. We chose to go with the nook that is provided by Barnes and Noble. We did that because of the management and because of the wonderful customer service that we have received through Barnes and Noble."

English teacher Erin Hodges thinks the nooks are going to be a great addition for both teachers and students.

"We were adopting books for common core," Hodges said. "When we looked at the cost of what the paper books were going to cost the district, we decided that we would look into the possibility of getting a class set of nooks. Then our curriculum director helped us find the money and were able to get one on one devices with the nooks. 8th grade has already received the nooks and 7th are getting theirs today. Each student will be given their own personal nook to take home. To bring back and forth to school. And they are all excited. We've been counting down the days."

Hodges says they've partnered with a couple of organizations in Jonesboro to help provide their students with a greater range of resources and option.

"We have gotten a partnership with the Jonesboro Public Library," she said. " The students have all been issued library cards and they are going to be allowed to check out books on their nooks from the Jonesboro Public Library. We feel like that's going to give them a wider range of materials than we provide in our library here at school. We're also hoping they're going to integrate apps for math in their math classes and their science classes and social studies, as well. Barnes and Noble, we've partnered with them as well, and they will be supporting our nooks. We let them know we want the apps uploaded to them and they do it overnight."

7th grade student, Isabel Welch, says she's thrilled to be getting a nook to read on and get some school work done.

"It's giving more opportunities for students to read," Welch said. "I think it makes it more fun to read, so."

Tuesday morning, nooks were handed out to the 7th grade class.

Next week, 9th grade students will get their nook devices.

For more information about Douglas MacArthur Junior High School, log onto this website.

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