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Hayfield School News Logo

home : schools : hayfield high news July 24, 2014

10/16/2012 12:04:00 PM
Hayfield school earns grant
Hayfield/Brownsdale Public School receives a an early literacy grant and training from the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) and Capstone Digital. Left to right: Elyse August (Capstone Digital), Brian Bartley, Sherry Weaver, Kathy Blanchard and Annette Freiheit (Hayfield/Brownsdale Schools), and Tim Penny (SMIF).
+ click to enlarge
Hayfield/Brownsdale Public School receives a an early literacy grant and training from the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) and Capstone Digital. Left to right: Elyse August (Capstone Digital), Brian Bartley, Sherry Weaver, Kathy Blanchard and Annette Freiheit (Hayfield/Brownsdale Schools), and Tim Penny (SMIF).



Representatives from five schools recently gathered at Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation's (SMIF) office in Owatonna to receive myON reader training for a grant program offered through a partnership between SMIF and Capstone Digital, developer of personalized learning environments for students. myON reader is a personalized literacy environment offering access to the largest integrated library of digital books with multimedia supports. This program is one of SMIF's early childhood efforts focused on providing resources to all children to encourage a healthy life of learning, achieving, and succeeding.

Through a competitive process, five school districts under a population of 2,000 were chosen to participate in this three year pilot to create "Communities of Readers." The following schools received the grant from Capstone Digital to fund myON reader: Blooming Prairie, New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva, Medford, Truman , and Hayfield-Brownsdale.

"We are pleased to partner with Capstone Digital to provide this program to some of the smaller schools in the area. Our goal is to promote early literacy and learning for our young children," said SMIF's President and CEO Tim Penny. "We believe investing in our young children is a long-term strategy that will lead to a capable workforce."

The myON reader program provides online access to more than 2,500 enhanced digital books with multimedia supports (embedded dictionary, highlighting and professionally recorded audio), customized to a student's interest and reading ability as measured by the Lexile® Framework for reading.

"Early literacy and engagement prepares children for kindergarten, but also sets them up for a successful future. Educators embrace myON reader because it expands student's access to books and boosts their reading engagement. Student are drawn to myON reader because they have a choice on what they want to read, in a digital environment where they are comfortable. According to many kids, myON reader is 'fun'," said Todd Brehkus, President of Capstone Digital.

myON reader provides students with a unique online environment where they have access to the largest digital library with reading supports, gives teachers access to personalizing reading programs for their students, and gives administrators the ability to monitor and forecast reading growth based on class, grade, building and district.

As part of its strategy to invest in economic growth here in southern Minnesota, SMIF has supported early childhood efforts to make certain all children enter school fully encouraged, prepared, and supported for learning success. Over the past nine years, SMIF has invested $1 million annually for early childhood development initiatives. For more information about SMIF's early childhood programs, contact Rae Jean Hansen at raejeanh@smifoundation.org or 507-455-3215.

About Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation:

Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF), a donor-supported foundation, invests for economic growth in 20 Minnesota counties. The Foundation has provided more than $47 million in grants and loans within the region during the past 25 years. SMIF's key interests include early childhood and entrepreneur development. To learn more about our work and mission call 507-455-3215 or visit www.smifoundation.org.

About Capstone Digital

Capstone Digital, a division of Capstone, develops personalized learning environments for students. As the flagship product, myON reader provides access to the largest integrated library of digital books with multimedia supports and assessments. Using Capstone Digital products, students gain confidence in their abilities, take ownership in their reading growth, and achieve success across the curriculum. For more information, visit www.thefutureinreading.com.





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