Take Flight with myON This Spring Reading Contest Winner!



The results are in for the 2016 myON Spring Reading Contest, What a World! Take Flight with myON This Spring! The contest ran from March 14th through April 1st and was based on the most time spent reading during the contest period to encourage students to read over spring break and take advantage of the more than 5,000 books on myON.

We would like to congratulate our winning school:

Westside Elementary School in Polk County School District (GA)

myON wants students to achieve lifelong learning success and reading is the foundation of that learning success.

Thoughts from a student…and a parent.

From time to time,  we receive messages and pictures from students and, occasionally, their parents.  We thought we would share our most recent message with you from 8 year old, 2nd grader, Ava.

Hi, my name is Ava. I like myON because it has lots of fun books for children and adults. It’s also a great learning site. One of my favorite books is Faerieground. It’s an amazing book with two best friends who get in a fight. They get trapped in a magical faerie world and one of them turns out to be a faerie! I hope you download the myON app. Take it from me, it’s awesome!

Jess (Ava’s mom):

myON has made a great impact on my daughter and her love of reading. Having access to such a large variety of books has increased her literary interests exponentially, and her writing is just one reflection of the joy that myON books bring her.

Best Practices for 21st-Century Teaching and Learning

Best practices for 21st-century teaching and learning

By Lucas Gillespie, John Prchal, Ruben Alejandro and Lydia Withrow on February 17th, 2016

Early education

Ruben Alejandro

To give our students the best possible chance at success in a changing world, when I became superintendent of schools in the summer of 2012, I put together a team of administrators, parents and teachers to create a vision for the district called “Empowering 21st-Century Learners.”

We are making our vision a reality in two ways. I have a strong focus on early learning, and a big part of that is early literacy. We worked with our digital literacy platform to launch an initiative called “Zero to Three: Weslaco Reads,” so kids who are 0–3 can download books and read them for free.

We also teach robotics and STEAM starting in kindergarten, and are now including 3- and 4-year-olds. With the help of an engineer, our youngest students are building a Mars rover — a modular car that they can put together and drive. The rover will have a handle that controls a claw so students can learn by picking up blocks with numbers and letters on them. We will have mechanical engineers, electrical engineers and systems engineers to help build the rover and take it through an obstacle course. As far as I know, nobody in the world is bringing this level of STEAM and robotics to 3- and 4-year-olds.

To read the entire article, click here.

Ruben Alejandro is the Superintendent of Weslaco Independent School District in Texas, where he launched the “Zero to Three: Weslaco Reads” initiative in collaboration with myON.

It May be a Cliche – But it’s True, Leveled Reading

by  Dr. Timothy Rasinski

We’ve all heard it before in various forms – “The way to become a better reader is to read a lot,” “The more you read, the better reader you will become.”     While some may think that such expressions are too simple and overused, the fact is they contain much truth.

Reading, like many learned skills, requires practice to be mastered.  Learning to drive a car, perfecting a golf swing, or developing the ability to speak publicly requires the learner to not only to understand the nature of what is to be learned but also to practice it to the point of competency.  A strong body of research supports the notion that the act of reading improves a reader’s competence in reading (e.g. Morgan, Mraz, Padak, & Rasinski, 2008).

One of my favorite studies goes back a few years (Postlethwaite & Ross, 1992).   However, the findings seem to be as applicable today as they did back then.  In this very large scale international study, the researchers attempted to identify factors that were associated with high achievement in reading for students in grades 2 and 8.    Two of the top three factors identified had to do amount of reading done by students – Number 3 was volume of reading done in school; and Number 2 was the volume of reading done at home.   The implication from these findings is clear – if we want to improve students’ reading achievement we need to find ways to increase the amount of reading done by students.   The sad reality, though, is that students, in general do not read much.   In his book on helping struggling readers, Allington (2011) reports that the typical elementary reader spends less than 15 minutes per day reading at home.

How can we nurture more reading among students?  For me, access and interest lead the way.    If we want students to read more they need to have easy access to plenty of reading material on a variety of topics.   Many students who live in poverty   do not have such access.  And, if they find it difficult to get their hands on books and other reading materials, it’s unlikely that they will read.

Besides access, there is also the question of precision.   In addition to having lots of reading materials accessible to students, it’s also important to match those materials to the reading levels and interests of students.    For a student who is reading at a second grade level, having access only to books written for 4th and 5th graders will not be helpful.  Similarly, for a child interested in sports, having access to books that deal with topics other than sports may not spur that particular student to read more.

So the challenge for educators is to increase students’ reading.  However, like an onion, when we peel back one layer, other layers or questions appear.    Certainly, two of those questions are:  How do we improve students’ access to reading materials, and how can we sure that those materials reflect a range of reading levels and interests.


Allington, R. (2011). What Really Matters for Struggling Readers (3rd ed).  New York:  Pearson.

Morgan, D., Mraz, M., Padak, N., & Rasinski, T. (2008).   Independent Reading: Practical Strategies for Grades K-3.  New York: Guilford.

Postlethwaite, T.,N  & Ross, K., N. (1992).  Effective Schools in Reading:  Implications for Educational Planners.  The Hague, Netherlands:  International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement.


2015 myON Summer Reading Challenge Results!

The results are in for the 2015 myON Summer Reading Challenge, Every Hero has a Story. We are proud to announce the winning school and students who read the most books as a collective campus and individual between May 15th to September 4th 2015.

The myON summer program started in 2012 with 26,000 students reading over the summer. This year over 4.5 million students nationwide read 4,732,169 books over their summer vacation. The summer reading contest was designed to minimize the summer slide while motivating students to discover the magic in reading. Summer break is the perfect opportunity to continue exciting and engaging kids in reading while combating the summer slide.

We would like to congratulate our grand prize winners for total time spent reading!

  • Grade K-5, Elementary Winner: Jade G., PLC Charter Schools (AZ)
  • Grades 6 and up, Middle School/High School Winner: Victoria V., Clayton County (GA)

For all students reading at least 10 books during the challenge, names were put into a drawing to win the iPad Mini. The winner of random drawing is Michael L., Branford Public Schools. Out of the 4.5 millions students 128,000 read 10 books!

“I am overwhelmingly proud of the perseverance of our students for their commitment to literacy and their drive to develop as readers.  I’m equally proud of the commitment that our staff and parents provided to our students this summer so there would be no summer reading lag. Our students love the wide variety of genres available on myON. Accessibility to good literature coupled with supportive adults was the key to our students’ summer reading success!” said Todd Brekhus, president of myON. “It’s great to see so many young people discovering their excitement for reading, especially over the summer,” said Brekhus. “Literacy is the foundation of all academic success.  Each child reading on myON is given the tools to truly personalize their experience, reading what interests them and at a level that challenges them to be a better reader.  Using fun and engaging contests, like Every Hero Has a Story, is another great opportunity to get kids excited about reading.”

Winter Reading Program – Winners Announced!


January 30th marked a major milestone for myON  as we reached our 4 year birthday and earlier in 2015 eclipsed the 5 million student reading on myON. It goes without saying that myON has experienced incredible growth due in large part to amazing educators and students!

We are excited to announce the 2015 Winter Reading Program Winners! This year’s Winter Reading Program began on December 19th and concluded on January 9th! The top schools that spent the most time reading during that time will receive $500!


The top three schools that spent the most time reading* will be awarded the 2015 Winter Reading Program Winners!  Combined, all students read over 12 years of reading in just 21 days! The top three schools receiving the awards:


  • Top School: Komensky Elementary School (Berwyn South School District 100, IL)
  • Runner–Up: Oakman Elementary (Dearborn Public Schools MI)
  • 3rd Place: PS 48 William Wordsworth – (NYC Network 535, NY)

We also created a new category for students to create a 1-2 minute video to explain why you like myON! We are excited to announce that 5th Grader, Lee from Komensky Elementary won the contest and will receive $100. Her video can be seen here!

Stay tuned to for more information on our Spring Reading and Summer Reading Programs!

*Time spent reading was based on enrollment of each school.

Literacy Tools: Using the Journal

Learners love to get feedback from their teachers! Using the Journal in myON’s new Literacy Tools makes it easier than ever to have ongoing discussions more often. Use journaling for a specific purpose or simply to comment on student work. The dialogue will motivate students to think more deeply and encourage more writing. The benefits for educators to be able to “see” what their students are thinking and respond in a thoughtful way are limitless. The Professional Services team welcomes the opportunity to provide a session on integrating the journal and other components of the Literacy Tools to deepen literacy teaching and learning.

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myON’s Literacy Toolkit which includes teacher feedback, student annotation and more!

Additionally, myON has recently released the fifth video in our tutorial series focusing on the Literacy Toolkit. This mini-tutorial will help you understand how users can access the various reading tools to improve their understanding of text. To view the video, please click here or watch below.

Our team of facilitators are experts at collaborating with educators about how best to incorporate myON into existing curriculum. After participating in one of our Professional Development sessions, participants can walk out with a plan on how to implement something new the next day. Our hope is that every myON user sees a way that our content and management features can enhance instruction and increase student engagement.

myON is Committed to Good Student Data Practices

Today President Obama announced the New Privacy Protections for the Digital Age and myON is proud to announce that we stand alongside the President in safeguarding the data of our customers, students and families in the classroom and beyond.  myON is committed to ensure that student data is safe, will not be sold and that we will not misuse or mishandle student information.

myON has been an active member in the Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA) for the past five years and was one of the first signatories of the recent Student Privacy Pledge which was co-developed by SIIA and the Future of Privacy Forum to safeguard student data privacy. These commitments are intended to detail ongoing industry practices that meet and go beyond all federal requirements and to encourage service providers to more clearly articulate these practices to further ensure confidence in how they handle student data. (http://bit.ly/2015StudentPrivacyPledge)

What are some data and privacy issues which you feel will be key talking points in 2015? Let us know in the comments section!

Let’s Get Looney Over Winter Break

Winter Break is almost here and we want to keep your students reading and having fun – looney fun! We now have more titles than ever before on myON: 7,600. And our list keeps growing.

For Winter Break we have created a great reading list. How many books can your students read? How much can they learn about snow, winter activities and Christmas around the world? It’s a perfect time to challenge your students to keep reading and find even more exciting books on myON.

Now the fun part (not that books aren’t fun). We’ve added Looney Toons Printables to myON. What are they? What do they do? Can kids print from home? How much do they cost?

First, these printables are pages of fun! Join Batman, the Super Friends, Tom & Jerry, Scooby Doo, or the Looney Toons gang explore the holidays and the winter season with coloring pages, matching challenges, math challenges, practice handwriting and more. They can be printed from The Future in Reading page see Winter Challenge. They can be printed as many times as you want – at school, at home, at Grandma’s house. Best of all…they’re free!

Tweet us at @myONReader and let us know if you like them. Warner Bros. has generously supplied these fun activity sheets and has many more scheduled to complete the calendar year.

So before your students rush home for Winter Break, make sure you show them how to find these fun printables and don’t forget the Holiday Reading List!

Happy Holidays,

Your myON Team

Congratulations to the 2014 Winner of the myMagical Summer

summermyON would like to congratulate everyone who participated in the 3rd annual Summer Reading Program – myMagical Summer! With over 368K students participating and over 3600 schools participating we were able to reach our goal of reading over 6.5 million books!

The 2014 myMagical Summer Reading Program challenged students to read as much as possible from May 12th – August 25th. The ultimate goal was to build confident readers over the summer and deter students from experiencing the “Summer Slide.”

The myMAGICAL Summer Reading program recognizes the top two students in elementary school (Pre K-5th grade) and middle school (6th – 12th grade) that spent the most time reading over the summer by awarding them an iPAD and an iPad Mini, respectively. The top school that read the most books will be awarded a GRAND PRIZE PARTY PACK that we will recognize the entire school for their summer reading!  We will also award the runner up school by giving them a banner for them to display in their school!

 1st Place 2nd Place
Elementary School Kevin P – Sunset Park Elementary (Orange County Public Schools, FL) Nathan Z – Annette Winn Elementary (Douglas County School District, GA)
Middle School Edneisha B – Turner/Bartels (Hillsborough County Public Schools) Schlindlyne B – Turner/Bartels (Hillsborough County Public Schools)


Congratulations to the top schools that read the most books:

  • Grand prize winner: Pershing Elementary School – Berwyn South School District, IL
  • Runner-Up School: Mary T. Murphy – Branford Public Schools (CT)

For a complete list of the top 100 readers:

Building Name Name
Sunset Park Elementary School Kevin P
Norman A Bridge Elementary School Lizbeth C
Waterbridge Elementary Thang N
Poe Elementary School Helen T
Waterbridge Elementary Hillary Q
Shrevewood ES Abenezer M
Turner/Bartels EDNEISHA B
Turner /Bartels SCHLINDLYNE B
West University Elementary School Varun N
Bull Run ES Amy-Jin C
Sabal Elementary ALYSSA S
Sabal Elementary ETHAN C
Meadow Community School Cedina C
Telegraph North School Annie N
Sabal Elementary EVAN J
Kathy Caraway Elementary School Rewa C
Adventure Elementary Joseph C
PS 176 Ovington Darren W
Mead Elementary School Ellison Y
West Oaks Elementary School Robertina C
Lake Gem Elementary School Toan T
Lowell Elementary Francisco T
The Fifty-first Avenue Academy JIMMY N
The UFT Charter School DAEJANAE C
Turner /Bartels APURVA K
Head Start Centers Beau K
Greenbriar West ES Jessica Y
Homeschool Buyers Co-Op 8 Alex S
Hunters Woods ES Alia E
Davis LONG Z
M.S. 144 Michelangelo Middle School AALIYAH S
Perry Central Elementary School Jasmine H
Halley ES Arianna S
PS 21 Edward Hart (021Q) COURTNEY T
ITL School Library Hoyoung Lim G
Mound Elementary Brody D
Westchase Elementary School ZARIN Z
Ustick Elementary Keagan H
Swenke Elementary Michelle O
Big Horn Elementary Charles K
PS 202 Ernest S Jenkyns (202K) ARMANDO S
Taylor Road Elementary Sabiriin N
Mound Elementary Triana O
Greenbriar East ES Seonghyeon H
Great Oaks Elementary School Joyce S
PS 35 Clove Valley ELLA C
Princeton House Charter Elementary School Pierce H
PS 345 Patrolman Robert Bolden ABENA S
PS 174 Dumont (174K) AMON A
Lowell Elementary Kayla L
North Douglas Elementary Enos A
Great Oaks Elementary School Reyna W
Sabal Elementary LINA C
Sabal Elementary LILY C
West Plains Elementary Taylor D
American Overseas School of Rome Sunmin K
Pleasant Prairie Elementary Schl Anna N
Walker Magnet Middle School TAI N
Keene Mill ES Matthew N
Minneapolis Summer Reading ADMAN A
PS 160 William Sampson Kyle Y
Juan Morel Campos PS 290K DARIAN T
Pleasant View Elementary Sophia L
Hollywood Academy of Arts and Science Daniel N
Doby Elementary School LURRIE L
Great Seneca Creek ES Zorian T
Bailey’s ES Najma Karissa A
PS 160 William Sampson Madison L
Mound Elementary Joseph S
Rocky Run MS Jaden C
Homeschool Buyers Co-Op 8 Airi L
MacGregor Elementary School Amir B
Elmwood Elementary School Elena V
Swenke Elementary Macie J
Forestdale ES Sondo M
Juan Morel Campos PS 290K JADE C
Patsy Sommer Elementary School Tara F
Riverdale Heights Elementary Sandarbha P
Mound Elementary Ethan S
Pio Pico Elementary Daniel S
PS 160 William Sampson Raffer C
Prairie Lane Elementary School Jack N
Jennings Middle School SIMRANJEET K
Juan Morel Campos PS 290K ERIC L
Lydia Middleton Elementary Lillian G
Walker Elementary Ella K
Mound Elementary Mack P
Laurel Ridge ES Samar Y
The Fifty-first Avenue Academy ARI C
PS 249 The Caton School EMMANUEL M
Pio Pico Elementary Brittany J
Pennoyer School Julia I
Trenton Middle School Hannah S
Tampa Palms Elementary School MARK A
Turner /Bartels AKANKHYA M
Eli Whitney Elementary School Jibreel N
Joseph Widmer Elementary Angelina R
Mound Elementary Savannah U


Congratulations to all students participating in the 2014 myMAGICAL SUMMER