Exeter High School receives grant for 20 Kindle Fires

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Administration hopes to improve reading test scores with technology

Exeter High School administration hopes to motivate technology-savvy students and improve their reading skills with the integration of Kindle Fires into the library.

Principal Robert Taylor said in the spring, he and the high school librarian applied for and received a $3,238 grant, funded by the Clorox Company Foundation, that will put 20 Kindle Fires in the school's library.

The Kindle Fires, mini tablet computers with 8 GB of internal storage and multi-touch color screens produced by Amazon.com, will be available to students through the library and will be used to give students access to e-books on an online library.

Each student will have a password to gain access to the virtual library to download their books, and they will be able to check out the Kindle Fires for a period of time.

"These days, our students are native to technology, and we see this as an opportunity to use that for educational purposes," said Ernest Raney, Exeter superintendent. "We hope to use this program to not only increase the number of students who check out books but also to get the students excited about reading. We hope that these will ultimately improve reading test scores among our students, and we are very excited for this addition to our library."

Taylor also said the new technology should motivate the students.

"I want to integrate technology into the school because our students are so accustomed to using it," he said. "I believe they will respond very well to having an efficient, electronic way to check-out and read their books. The Kindles will provide a new motivation for students who are so technologically-driven."

Taylor decided to apply for the grant after a parent approached him telling him about the opportunity given by the foundation.

The Clorox Company Foundation concentrates on education and youth development, and that is where their funding priorities lay. The foundation seeks to improve the academic performance of children and prepare the youth for community leadership roles.

The criteria to receive a grant from the foundation includes having a clarity of purpose and likely outcomes related to improved grades, test scores and improved graduation rates, as well as a nondiscrimination policy and practice in effect.

Exeter High School met the foundation's requirements and received the grant last month.

The Kindle Fire electronic library system will be up and running by the fall for the students returning to school, according to Taylor.

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