Students can download digital books for free through a new state program.

Students in the Christina School District now have access to thousands of free digital books through the Delaware Department of Education.

The program is funded by federal grants, providing students with access to age-appropriate literature through the OverDrive Education SORA student reading app.

Students can sort through books by subjects and grade level. The selection is a mix of possible curriculum texts, like “The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” and books intended for entertainment, such as “Miles Morales.”

“One thing we really want them to do now over the summer is read for fun, for pleasure, and for learning at the same time,” said Norman Kennedy, elementary schools director of teaching and learning for Christina.

Kennedy said that items from the school curriculum can be added to SORA, so students can have access to the work 24/7 through the internet. SORA can also be linked through local libraries, without needing a library card, giving students the ability to access thousands of books and audio books.

“They have thousands of ebooks and thousands of audiobooks that students can access for free,” Kennedy said.”

Families will receive their sign-on credentials through their students’ schools, and Kennedy said families can also sign in through their Clever account.

The program is part of the Delaware Department of Education’s summer acceleration support, intended to help students recover from unfinished learning. The program will also allow users to see the Lexile level, a common measure of reading comprehension, of a text so they can determine which works are a right fit.

“We are excited all public school students in Delaware will have the opportunity this summer to immerse themselves in literacy,” Secretary of Education Susan Bunting said in a statement.

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