August 13, 2010

Looking back on KBN's amazing Year One. And a look at what's coming next.

     A few weeks ago our KBN Teacher Talk Center looked back at KBN's Year One. But not every KBN visitor reads Teacher Talk, so perhaps what was noted there is worth repeating here.  Both the Kids' Book Network and the teaching year got off to a fast start last September 1, and by June 24, 2010, both KBN and our teacher colleagues concluded an amazing year in U.S. education.
     Reflecting on what we've accomplished in Year One, it's clear that we've come a long way in less than ten months.
      First, we introduced the concept and practical possibility of free, self-made books for every child in the world. Picture books, coloring books, adventure books, puzzle books, microbooks, and literary classics. Even one book in eight languages.
      Our original KBN books are witty and fresh books you can download, print and form into classic on-paper, page-turning quality books to read and share with friends and family, at home or in the classroom.
      Next, we introduced the unique device-free reading technology of live on-screen bookcasting. And suddenly reading is more fun and exciting than ever.
      The Kids' Book Network website has now been identified as an information resource for young readers from Kindergarten through Grade Six by CLRN, the official California Learning Resource Network. And we're pleased to see that visitors from around the planet have begun to discover KBN – from Australia and Brazil to China and Russia.

       But we're just getting started. As kids and teachers now return to school in September, 2010, KBN will be working with in-the-classroom educators to make classroom teaching smarter, more effective and easier than ever. For our Year Two we have plans for many more fresh and original KBN books for young readers, of course, but also more great teaching and learning features for America's teachers.
      In just a few weeks, for example, we'll be publishing the first of what we hope will become many original KBN books written by kids themselves, starting with a very special book for a very special moment in history – the story of Fr. Hidalgo, considered the father of Mexico, on bicentennial of the Mexican Revolution. When teachers can show students what other students are writing, featured on KBN, students are encouraged and inspired to write more stories of their own.
      We'll also be introducing a new category of foundational reading books to support an exciting new style of reading instruction by our pre-K, kindergarten and early grade teachers. And we'll be working to bring parents into our KBN teaching program as well, with our Read At Two program which will connect early at-home and pre-school reading development with in-school instruction.
      It's going to be another exciting year.
We want every teacher to succeed, we want every child to read.