CLEVELAND – March 14, 2022 – In response to educators’ need for more digital content to engage students, OverDrive Education now offers popular digital comic books to schools around the world via the Sora student reading app. Schools can purchase age-appropriate and cost-effective curated bundles totaling more than 1,500 digital comic books. These titles include simultaneous use rights so all students can access titles for their age group instantly. Sora is the leading student reading app available in more than 53,000 schools worldwide.
An award-winning app known for assigned and choice reading of ebooks, audiobooks and magazines, Sora also provides a simple user experience for students to browse and read comics, even on phones. The “All Access Comics” bundles are grouped into three age ranges and contain the most popular titles for schools, including Avatar The Last Airbender, They Called Us Enemy, My Little Pony, Plants vs. Zombies, Samurai Jack, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Astro Boy, Hellboy, and Skyward. See the full lists of titles.
All Access Comics in Sora bundles also include Marvel titles that are not currently available in any other simultaneous use digital model for schools, such as brands or characters like Avengers, Spider-Man, Eternals, Star Wars, Hulk, X-Men, Thor and Venom.
“This is a game changer for our students, who are now living in an increasingly visual world,” said Andrea Viscuis, Librarian Assistant at O2CM BOCES in New York. “Digital comics are an excellent way for students to hone their media literacy skills by interpreting images along with text. In addition, comics support our students who struggle with text. We are excited to be providing interesting opportunities for students to see themselves in books.”
Educators can select any combination of packages for lower, middle and upper grades at up to a 20 percent savings for all three. They can also see usage data and remove specific titles from their collection using Sora’s powerful title and data management tools.
All Access Comics in Sora solve many challenges schools face with other digital comic subscription models. Specifically, each bundle saves time for librarians because there is no need to select individual titles or manage expirations or physical copies. Every title in each bundle is selected by OverDrive’s staff of degreed librarians for interest and appropriateness, so there are no surprises and only high appeal content for readers of all levels.
The all-in, bundled price (based on enrollment) helps make purchasing comics more cost-effective than purchasing on a per-title basis. Plus, the simultaneous-use rights of the collection allow students in a school to access their age-appropriate title at the same time. Finally, students can use one app to access comics alongside their school’s collection of ebooks, audiobooks and digital magazines, consolidating reading in a streamlined user experience.
Additional features distinguish comics in Sora from other services:
- Comics are curated by librarians using review data to ensure each package includes only age-relevant titles; new issues are added periodically after review (title availability may vary by region).
- Simple, up-front, district-wide pricing for simultaneous access; buy any combination of the three distinct packages: lower grades, middle grades, upper grades.
- Content access levels can be adjusted, and schools can weed titles they don’t want.
- Usage data is available to authorized educators in a secure student reading dashboard.
- Designed for busy educators and content-hungry students.
“Our students, particularly those in middle school, love comic and graphic books,” said Dawn Roberts, Media Specialist at Northeastern Utah Educational Services. “The artwork improves their comprehension, and because they enjoy the reading experience they continue checking out additional titles in a variety of genres. After only one week of availability in Sora, our All Access Comics package has over 500 checkouts!”
Angela Arnold, General Manager of OverDrive Education, added, “Students expect to see their favorite characters and brands when we say ‘comic books,’ and these packages deliver on the promise in the name. Kids respond to the brands they know, which drives reading engagement. School librarians and staff are extremely busy, so our vetting process helps save them time. We’ve chosen three strong collections for each age group that will only get better over time.”
About OverDrive Education and the Sora student reading app
OverDrive Education, a division of OverDrive, offers the industry’s largest catalog of ebooks, audiobooks, digital magazines and other content for over 53,000 K-12 schools and millions of students worldwide. The company’s student reading app, Sora, provides every student with access to the right books. Supporting the need to read required curriculum titles, class sets and pleasure reading digital books, Sora’s powerful learning tools and insights help meet the needs of students and educators. Sora was named one of TIME’s Best Inventions of 2019. Acquired in 2021, TeachingBooks.net complements Sora with one of the largest catalogs of original and curated literary resources. Founded in 1986, OverDrive – the leading digital reading platform for libraries – and OverDrive Education are based in Cleveland, Ohio USA. www.overdrive.com/schools
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