As a special promotion through the ePals Foundation and sponsoring partners, In2Books, the curriculum-based e-mentoring program from ePals, Inc., will be offered for free to the first 10 Title I schools from any one district registered by May 31, 2009. This offer includes the online program, books and professional development (valued at more than $500).
Open to all 3rd-5th grade classrooms, In2Books enables educators, reading coaches and specialists to create independent learners with strong literacy skills through the use of online collaborative technology. Students participating in In2Books select and read age-appropriate, high-quality books from a list compiled by a team of children's literature experts. The students are matched with carefully screened adult pen pals who read the same books as the students. After reading each book, students and their pen pals exchange thoughts about the important issues in the book via online letters. Teachers reinforce these activities in the classroom with related lessons and discussion.
During the last 10 years, thousands of students, mentors and teachers have participated in the In2Books program. In its first digital year, beginning in the fall of 2008, In2Books was used in more than 130 classrooms in 30 states nationwide, allowing more than 10,000 letters to be exchanged between engaged students and their adult pen pals. Building on these successes and the current economic situation, the ePals Foundation created this promotion to reach out to disadvantaged communities to provide students and teachers with access to high-quality reading materials and authentic learning experiences.
Reading comprehension, critical thinking and written communication skills are among the abilities required for success in the 21st century. In2Books and the other tools offered through the ePals Global Community offer students the opportunity and the support to build these vital skills.