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Press Release: TX Superintendent Accelerates Early Learning through Community-Wide Digital Reading Initiative
(MINNEAPOLIS) June 4, 2014 — Superintendent of Weslaco Independent School District, Dr. Ruben Alejandro, has a vision to accelerate early learning across the community and empower every student within the district with the necessary technological tools for a competitive 21st-century education.
In 2012, Dr. Alejandro became Superintendent of Weslaco ISD after having both attended and taught in the Weslaco school system for many years. His personal and professional history in and commitment to the community of Weslaco compelled Dr. Alejandro to seek innovative ways to support learning both within the school system and the community.
One of his major initiatives as superintendent is called “Zero to Three Weslaco Reads.” This initiative provides the entire community, including the school district, with unlimited access to myON, whose vast digital library has content to meet the needs and interests of students of all ages. Based on current research, Dr. Alejandro understood the specific importance of early literacy and sought out partners with 21 daycares across the community, as well as three Head Start programs, the public library and community hospital in order to share news about community access to myON.
This focus on early learning—to reach students ages zero to three before they enter the school system—will provide the opportunity to accelerate students’ fluency, comprehension and critical thinking skills. By giving unprecedented access to thousands of books—with reading supports—to every family for access throughout Weslaco, Dr. Alejandro equips every student and family with the tools they need to succeed in a changing global world.
To further encourage 21st century learning, Dr. Alejandro also employs a BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device, policy, which invites students to use their own devices for learning purposes during the school day. This understanding of how students engage with the world around them is another strong facet of Dr. Alejandro’s vision to embrace the digital age of learning and accelerate his students toward academic success.
“Dr. Alejandro’s goals in Weslaco are inspiring and revolutionary: an early learning initiative that uses technology at its core is truly the face of changing education today,” said Todd Brekhus, president of myON. “We are honored to partner with Dr. Alejandro in his Zero to Three Weslaco Reads project, and we wish the entire community success.”
myON, a business unit of Capstone, develops personalized learning environments for students. myON provides access to the largest library of enhanced digital books with multimedia scaffolds to support student reading at all levels. In turn, myON empowers teachers with real-time, actionable data—number and type of books opened and read, time spent reading, results of regular benchmark assessments, and more—based on embedded Lexile assessments that measure student reading growth. With myON, every student can have access to more than 7,000 diverse titles, which allows students to take ownership of their reading interests and literacy growth.
For more information, please visit www.myON.com/.