MADISON, WIS. (Sept. 6, 2006) – “How long did this book take to write?” “Where did the words come from?” These are two of the questions students ask most often when authors visit schools. Having the opportunity to meet a favorite author or illustrator can create a lasting impression. Chicago Public School students will now have this chance every day through the use of TeachingBooks.net, an online tool specifically designed to generate enthusiasm for reading.

TeachingBooks.net will provide more than 425,000 Chicago Public School students with online access to an expanding collection of author programs, book readings, book guides and other K-12 resources that span thousands of fiction and non-fiction titles for children and young adults. Each TeachingBooks.net resource connects books to readers in a new, personalized way. The TeachingBooks.net subscription was purchased by the district’s Department of Libraries and Information Services.

“Knowing there is a real person behind a book is extremely valuable to students,” said Toby Rajput, an Area Library Coordinator for Chicago Public Schools. “With limited funding available, many school libraries cannot afford the cost of on-site author visits. TeachingBooks.net author programs allow students to meet authors and illustrators every day, providing students with the personal connection they need to boost their interest in reading.”

Students get a rare glimpse inside the world of award-winning authors and illustrators as they talk about their work, read from their books, and demonstrate their artistic process. Listening to a book creator describe the writing or illustrating process leaves students with a new appreciation for reading, as well as an interest in other books by the same author or illustrator. Once a student establishes a personal connection with a book creator through a TeachingBooks.net original author program, a relationship forms that further encourages a love of reading.

TeachingBooks.net compiles original content and links to the best of the web’s multimedia book and author resources all in one place, providing Chicago Public School educators with an endless supply of high-quality book and author resources. Materials are organized by author, title, subject and grade, making it easy for educators to incorporate books and emphasize reading skills in all core subjects. In addition, educators, students and parents can use TeachingBooks.net at school or home.

“Research shows that the amount of time students spend reading independently is the best predictor of reading achievement,” said Rajput. “TeachingBooks.net is the tool we need to motivate our students to read, and ultimately improve reading achievement in our district.”

Chicago Public School librarians received training on TeachingBooks.net during the Department of Libraries and Information Services’ annual Back-to-School Professional Development event on Sept. 1, 2006. Nick Glass, founder of TeachingBooks.net, introduced TeachingBooks.net to more than 300 school librarians from the nation’s third-largest district.

Launched in 2003, TeachingBooks.net is licensed to more than 14,000 schools across the United States and Canada, encompassing over 9 million students. Districts include Boston Public Schools, Oklahoma City Public Schools, Calgary Board of Education in Alberta, Hawthorne Public Schools in California and all schools in Wisconsin. Pricing for TeachingBooks.net varies depending on the number of schools per district.

For more information about TeachingBooks.net, or to sign up for a free 14-day trial, visit www.teachingbooks.net or phone 800-596-0710.

About TeachingBooks.net

TeachingBooks.net LLC is committed to bringing books to life by providing thousands of author programs, book readings, book guides, and other K-12 multimedia resources that reveal the spirit and personality within books. The company delivers an interactive online service designed to facilitate learning about and discussion of books to inspire students to read. The company was established in 2000 and is headquartered in Madison, Wis. For more information, visit www.teachingbooks.net or phone 608-257-2919.

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