HARRISVILLE -- The North Ogden Kiwanis Club has been donating books to elementary students in Weber County for years. This year no different, except the donations went high-tech.
Six schools, with the help of the Kiwanis members and the Weber School Foundation, will receive e-books downloaded to their school's iPads.
The Kiwanis Club donated $3,000 toward the books, and the Weber School Foundation added $2,000. The idea came from Majestic Elementary second-grade teacher Becky Strebel, who has worked for several years with the club to pick out the donated books.
"We have these iPads from the district, but we don't really have anything to read on them," she said.
When she pitched the idea, the club was on board quickly.
"This is what the schools need now," said Kiwanis Club member John Reynolds.
Club members, teachers and students attended a recent presentation at Majestic to learn how to access the books and how they work on the iPads.
A table of students selected to participate in the presentation were reading and clicking with great care and cradled the iPads carefully as they put them away.
At the beginning of the school year, each grade in each school received five iPads for small group instruction, Strebel said. Now that time can be used with a wide variety of reading selections.
The books can also be linked to smart board projectors so the whole class can view and read the books at the same time. "We can use them on iPads, projectors and smart boards," Strebel said.
"It really is mind-boggling," past Kiwanis Club president Larry Florence said of the volume of books the schools will have on the iPads.
"It is just so profound. We have given 450 (books) to each school the last five or six years," he said, pointing to a wall with rows of books that the club has donated over the years. "I'm impressed and I'm sure everyone else is too."
Majestic librarian Julia Burt said the e-books are perfect for the students at this time.
"The kids are really into e-books or readers of one kind or another, so they are very receptive" Burt said. She has enjoyed reading the books as well because the pictures are so great and the stories are often accompanied by music.
Strebel is helping the other five schools, North Ogden, Bates, Lomond View, Green Acres and Valley, that will receive the books. She is showing teachers how to select, download and access the books.
She is also excited by the changes it will bring in her classroom. "We get to read with the kiddos in small groups and actually read on the iPads. We had some apps and some games, but really no (electronic) reading material before."