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Volunteer Nation Blog


“You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give.” ~Winston Churchill

New Version of EasyBooks!

We are very pleased to announce a new EasyBooks release! 
Screenshot of EasyBooks
This new version 4.020 offers several new features that we think you will like:

  • More keyboard shortcuts;
  • A feature that helps eliminate click sounds on stop/start of recording;
  • Mac Mojave compatibility; and
  • Added support for bold, italics, underline and active hyperlinks in the notes field.
    You can do these by clicking Ctrl-B, Ctrl-I, Ctrl-U to turn it on and then click it again to turn it off (or select the text you want to change and use the same key combination to apply it).
    Hyperlinks should be automatic for any address that starts with http, https or www.

Links to the installation instructions are here and also linked from the EasyBooks homescreen (you may need to scroll down a bit):
EasyBooks for PC 4.020
EasyBooks for Mac 4.020


Not sure which version you have? Check the top bar and it will show which version you have. Please contact if you need any help with the update or installation.


For more detail, please see our EasyBooks version doc

Textbooks Completed in May, 2019!

                                                                             Books Completed in May, 2019 

No: Shelf Number Title   Readers     Checkers TOC Tooler Project Guidelines
1 NB478 Trouble at Silver Pines Inn Ian Thomas Don Sheetz
2 NB587 Exceptional Learners: An Introduction to Special Education, Fourteenth Edition Adam Spohrer, Ed Beck, Jane Loose, Jane Sanford, Ken Klinkner, Mary Blackwell, MaryT Schiavone, Sheila Damens, Heidi Bindhammer Christina Jones, Cindy Strickland, Diane Nawrocki, Donna Lloyd-Jones, Dottie Liston, Juliet Jones, Leslie Gallagher, Linda Tejada, Marcia McDermott, Mary Hays, Mary Lou French, MaryT Schiavone, Michelle Buchecker, Sally Susinno
3 NB134 Cambridge Latin Course Unit 3 Cynthia Shelmerdine David Berkenbilt, Joe Clark, Stacie Court
4 NB840 En avant! Beginning French, Third Edition Mary Braunagel-Brown, Halina Bustin David Berkenbilt, Mary Braunagel-Brown, Halina Bustin, Cathy Jones
5 NA854 Digital Marketing Adam Spohrer, Ben Schmitke, Dave Bebko, David Welp, Greg Young, John Kain, Karen Schindler, Norval Galloway, Stephanie McDaniel, Teresa McPeat, Tom Hammell Barbara Kadlec, Bayard Van Hecke, Diane Nawrocki, Don Sheetz, Donna Lloyd-Jones, Dottie Liston, Harlan Hively, Jeremiah Curran, John Sandlin, Juliet Jones, Leslie Gallagher, Lorraine Laubscher, Lynn Wassenaar, Marion Hopkins, Mary Lou McGee, Michelle Buchecker, Pat Beachamp, Sandi Meier-Western, Suchetas Bokil, T.A. Niles, Vicki Davis Susan Wilson
6 NB698 Northern Lights: The Stories of Minnesota's Past, Revised Second Edition Marsha Poppie Louise Maillett Caren Snook
7 NB472 I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness Ashley Amukamara Diane Nawrocki Susan Wilson
8 NB490 Positive Psychology: The Scientific and Practical Explorations of Human Strengths, Third Edition Ian Thomas Don Sheetz Jaci Collins Kathy Cummings
9 NA806 Criminal Investigation, 12th Edition Cat Denison, Darrell Blandford, Don Savarese, Ian Thomas, Janet Schoor, Jim Connell, John Kain, John Sandlin, Karen Clayton, Karen Schindler, Keith Nichols, Marsha Poppie, MaryT Schiavone, Norval Galloway, Russell Oliver, Stephanie McDaniel, Thomas Scheurich, fp kouri Amelia Reid, Anna Marshall, Charlotte Gnessin, Cindy Strickland, Diane Nawrocki, Dottie Liston, George Kuhlman, Harlan Hively, Jane Seaton, John Sandlin, Kathi Jensen, Linda Tejada, Mark Wolff, Mary Straub, Michelle Buchecker, Roger Majchrzak, Shirley Nute, Vicki Davis, Yvette Pratdesaba Susan Wilson
10 NB276 NB276: Issues and Life Science, Second Edition Jeff Engel Diane Nawrocki, Nola Bragg, and Al Kendziora Susan Wilson
11 NB264 Everyday Mathematics, Student Math Journal, Vol. 2, gr. 6 Joseph Hurley, Barbara Mavro Martha Takats, Susan Kropiewnicki, Jim Myerberg, Myra Parker
12 NB839 Core Connections Integrated II Marilynn Steffen, David Welp Martha Takats, Janet Cappers, Marilynn Steffen, Valerie Pettiss, Nola Bragg
13 NB750 California National Geographic Reach Grade 1, Level B, Volume 2 Kathy Lee Shelley Cincotta Caren Snook
14 NA719 Exploring Social Psychology, 8th Edition Betty Schreiner, Bill Painter, Bonnie Patterson, Ed Beck, Liz Frechette, Marsha Poppie, Stephanie McDaniel, Susan Nilsson-Weiskott Cindy Strickland, DIane Nawrocki, Diane Nawrocki, Donna Lloyd-Jones, Dottie Liston, Jeremiah Curran, Lynn Wassenaar, Mary Lou McGee, Michelle Skowbo, Shirley Nute, T.A. Niles Susan Wilson
15 NB693 Go Math! Volume 1 Marilynn Steffen, David Welp Janet Cappers, Nola Bragg, Jim Myerberg, Susan Kropiewnicki, Martha Takats Jim Siewert
16 NA711 Interviewing: Principles and Practices, 15th Edition Ben Schmitke, Jenn Ellis, Jennifer Klein, Karen Schindler, Paul Morgan, Thomas Scheurich Cindy Strickland, Clive Morrick, Diane Nawrocki, Donna Lloyd-Jones, Dottie Liston, Earl Goetze, Harlan Hively, Kathi Jensen, Leslie Gallagher, Lorraine Laubscher, Lynn Wassenaar, Shirley Nute, Suchetas Bokil, Virgil Howarth, George Kuhlman Susan Wilson
17 NB493 World History: Preparing for the Advanced Placement Examination Bob Smyk, Bruce Mishkin, David Frens, David McAlary, Diane Martin, Don Savarese, Jim McCullough, John Kain, Paul Morgan, Prudence Breitrose, Russ Oliver, Scott Smith, Sheila Blunt Barbara Kadlec, Christina Jones, Clive Morrick, Diane Nawrocki, Kathy Cummings, Linda Tejada, Mary Lou McGee, MaryT Schiavone, Michelle Buchecker, Michelle Skowbo, Nola Bragg, Olivia Brown, Paul Morgan, Roger Majchrzak Jaci Collins
18 NB089 NCCER Welding, Texas Student Edition, Volume 2 Bonnie Marcus, Cliff d’Autremont, Jeff Engel, Brian Hill, Christian Selden, Don Sheetz, and John Gass. Kathy Cummings, George Kuhlman, John Gass, Zihui Zhu, Bill Lindstrom, Tom Lockhart, Staff, Al Kendziora, Rick Sayers, Don Sheetz, and Brian Hill. Pat Lim
19 NB515 Be My Disciples, Grade Two, School Edition Deirdre Schiefen Sarah Brands Susan Wilson
20 NB588 Introduction to Communication Disorders: A Lifespan Evidence-Based Perspective, Sixth Edition Don Sheetz, Tom Purinton, Teddy Pavlin, David Frens, Marsha Poppie, Brian Hill, Wanda Stitt-Gohdes, and Barbara Goldman Diane Nawrocki, Brian Hill, George Kuhlman, Tisha Keagy, Anna Marshall, Staff, Bill Lindstrom, Amy Grimm, and Shirley Nute Jaci Collins
21 NB263 Everyday Mathematics: Student Math Journal Vol. 1 (gr.6) Myra Parker, Jim Meyerberg Susan Kropiewnicki, NolaBragg Jim Siewert
22 NB560 Educational Psychology, Sixth Edition Adam Spohrer, Adrean Rivers, Ally Bilbray, Betty Schreiner, Don Savarese, Ian Thomas, Jane Loose, Jennifer Canady, Norval Galloway, Prudence Breitrose, Sarah Steele, Sheila Damens, Stephanie McDaniel Charlotte Gnessin, Cindy Strickland, DIane Nawrocki, Diane Nawrocki, Dottie Liston, Jaime Hunt, Jane Sanford, Jeremiah Curran, John Gass, John Sandlin, Kathi Jensen, Lynn Wassenaar, Mark Wolff, Mary Lou McGee, Michelle Skowbo, Suzi Ataei, T.A. Niles, Thomas Scheurich Jaci Collins Susan Wilson
23 NB699 Realizing the American Dream: A Manual for Homebuyers, Fifth Edition Albert Friedman Adele Phelan, Donna Lloyd-Jones, Michelle Skowbo, Natalia Eklund, T.A. Niles Susan Wilson Susan Wilson
24 NB738 Big Ideas Math, Course 2 Jim Myerberg, Barbara Mavro Susan Kropiewnicki, Martha Takats, George Vella-Coleiro, Nola Bragg Jim Siewert
25 NB877 Financial Algebra: Advanced Algebra with Financial Applications David Welp Don Kovar, Janet Cappers, Martha Takats, Juliet Jones Jim Siewert
26 NB385 Women Across Cultures, A Global Perspective, Fourth Edition Betsy Sherer Diane Nawrocki Nova Todd Susan Wilson
27 NA787 The Man in the Iron Mask Richard McCurdy Halina Bustin
28 NB274 Issues and Physical Science, Second Edition Jeff Engel and Bill Painter Nola Bragg, Christina Jones, George Kuhlman, Al Kendziora, and Baynard Van Hecke Susan Wilson
29 NB446 One Perfect Life: The Complete Story of the Lord Jesus Kathy Lee Susan Snookal Jaqui Bradley  

Textbooks Completed in April, 2019!

Books Completed in April, 2019

No: Shelf Number Title Readers Checkers TOC Tooler Project Guidelines
1 NB749 California National Geographic Reach Grade 1, Level B, Volume 1 Maryfran Annesse Vicki Davis Jaqui Bradley
2 NB513 Be My Disciples, Grade One, School Edition Dick Piper Vicki Davis Susan Wilson
3 NB109 Essentials of Comparative Politics, Sixth Edition Betty Schreiner, Bob Ellsworth, David Schnapp, Ellen Arzt, Jane Scott, John Gass, Nila Selvaraj, Pauline Rakich, Sheila Blunt Diane Nawrocki, George Kuhlman, Harlan Hively, Jane Scott, Jeremiah Curran, John Gass, Karen Schindler, Mark Wolff, Paul Kurtz Nova Todd
4 NB594 Computer Service and Repair, Fourth Edition Dave Bebko, Don Kovar, Ev Tate, John Gass, Scott Smith, Steve Holmgren, Tom Lockhart Al Kendziora, Anna Marshall, Bayard Van Hecke, Don Kovar, Earl Goetze, Ev Tate, Joseph Smith, Richard Hunt, Rick Sayers, Susan Kropiewnicki, Paul Deleeuw Jim Siewert
5 NB357 Tourism: The Business of Hospitality and Travel, Sixth Edition Marsha Poppie, Ken Klinkner, Joseph Hurley, Cathy Kimmel, Ed Beck, Betty Schreiner, Bob Ellsworth, John Kain, and Jaime Hunt. Don Sheetz, Diane Nawrocki, Marcia McDermott, Natalia Eklund, Earl Goetz, Mary T. Schiavone, Sarah Bliesath, Staff, and Rick Sayers. Jaci Collins
6 NB011 Introductory Maternity and Pediatric Nursing, Fourth Edition Lois Hofer, Sheila Damens, Heidi Bindhammer, Gina Lento, Donna Vogel, Barbara Stoebenau, Lee Ann Remington, Bob Smyk, Joseph Nimoy, Bill Burke, Teddy Pavlin, Kevin Petty, Jane Sanford, John Gass, Stacie Court, and Marsha Poppie. Diane Nawrocki, Becky McCaskey, Linda Tejada, Mary Lou French, Nola Bragg, Mary T. Schiavone, Kathy Cummings, Barbara Stoebenau, Valerie Pettiss, George Kuhlman, Lee Ann Remington, Sue Green, Pat Beauchamp, John Gass, Earl Goetze, and Marcia McDermott. Jaqui Bradley
7 NA850 : Drugs, Society, and Criminal Justice, Fourth Edition Ashley Willard, David Kleber, David McAlary, David Schnapp, Ian Thomas, Pauline Rakich, Sheila Blunt, Stephanie McDaniel, Lisa Ferreira Amy Grimm, Anh Minh Duong, Cindy Strickland, Diane Nawrocki, Don Sheetz, Dottie Liston, Harlan Hively, Jack Jia, John Sandlin, Joyce Coleman, Leslie Gallagher, Mark Wolff, Mary Straub, Michelle Skowbo, Yvonne Murray Pat Lim Susan Wilson
8 NB125 Go! With Microsoft Office 2016, Vol. 1 Dave Bebko, Ed Beck, Pat Smith, Richard Kozelka, Sarah Klipper, Tom Hammell Al Kendziora, Barbara Kadlec, Don Sheetz, Earl Goetze, Ev Tate, George Kuhlman, Joseph Smith,Tom Hammell
9 NB748 Big Ideas Math Algebra 1 David Welp Martha Takats, Staff Jim Siewert
10 NB837 Core Connections, Integrated I, 2nd Edition David Welp Roger Majchrzak, Martha Takats, Janet Cappers, George Vella-Coleiro, Susan Kropiewnicki, Nola Bragg Jim Siewert Staff
11 NB326 American History: My World Interactive Joseph Hurley, Janet Schoor, Maryfran Annese, Marsha Poppie, Vicki Davis Kathy Cummings, Juliet Jones, Lynn Wassenaar, Michelle Skowbo, Leslie Gallagher, Vicki Davis, David Grosh, M Romma, Mara Roccaforte, Amelia Reid, Linda Tejada, Jeremiah Curran, Dottie Liston, Sarah Bliesath, Thomas Scheurich, Nidhi Mylavarapu, Susan Crawford, Joseph Hurley, Suchetas Bokil, Kevin Valliere, Lauren de Lench, Josie Moretti Pat Lim Staff
12 NB118 Introductory Biological Statistics, Third Edition Cliff d’Autremont, David Welp and Gina Lento. Diane Nawrocki, Janet Cappers, Steven Sitting, George Kuhlman, Al Kendziora, and Myra Parker.
13 NB333 Particle Physics: A Very Short Introduction Jeff Engel Joe Clark Susan Wilson
14 NB110 You May Ask Yourself, Fifth Edition Patti Acurio Marcia McDermott and Diane Nawrocki Susan Wilson Susan Wilson
15 NB589 Essentials of Human Anatomy and Physiology, Twelfth Edition John Hickam Kathy Foster Pat Lim
16 NB474 The Clinical Practice of Educational Therapy: Learning and Functioning with Diversity, Second Edition Ashley Willard, Betty Schreiner, Bonnie Marcus, Jane Scott, Jim McCullough, Margaret Hall, Sheila Blunt, Stephanie McDaniel Adele Phelan, Anna Marshall, Diane Nawrocki, Dottie Liston, Jane Seaton, John Gass, John Sandlin, Joy Posthauer, Kathi Jensen, Kathy Cummings, Linda Tejada, Michelle Skowbo, Nicole Misterly, Shirley Nute, Staff, Suchetas Bokil, T.A. Niles, Tisha Keagy Caren Snook Susan Wilson
17 NB029 The Boys from Little Mexico: A Season Chasing the American Dream Allan Rough Barbara Stoebenau Elizabeth DeLaney Hoffman Staff
18 NB512 Be My Disciples, Grade Six, School Edition Maryfran Annesse Don Sheetz Susan Wilson Staff
19 NB381 Math In Our World David Welp, Barbara Mavro, Jim Myerberg, Marilynn Steffen Susan Kropiewnicki, Roger Majchrzak, George Vella-Coleiro, Martha Takats, Janet Cappers, Myra Parker, Teresa McPeat Jim Siewert
20 NB008 Social Work Practice in Healthcare: Advanced Approaches and Emerging Trends Betty Schreiner, Bill Reda, Bonnie Patterson, Ian Thomas, Jenn Ellis, Liz Frechette, Margaret Hall, Sheila Blunt, Heidi Bindhammer Adele Phelan, Al Kendziora, DIane Nawrocki, Diane Nawrocki, Dottie Liston, Jo-Ann Driscoll, Joe Clark, John Gass, John Sandlin, Kathi Jensen, Kathy Cummings, Mark Wolff, Mary Lou McGee, Mary Straub, Pat Beauchamp, Sally Susinno, Sarah Steele, Susan Lit, Tisha Keagy, Vicki Davis Nova Todd Susan Wilson
21 NA856 Earth: An Introduction to Physical Geology, 12th Edition Bonnie Marcus, Jeff Engel, Steven Sittig, John Kain, Heidi Bindhammer, Bill Painter, Nikki DiGanci, Steven Holmgren, Paul Morgan, and Adam Spohrer Tom Lockhart, Susan Crawford, Becky McCaskey, Al Kendziora, Tom Hammell, Jim White, Steven Sittig, George Kuhlman, Steven Holmgren, Nola Bragg, Sarah Bliesath, Paul Morgan, John Kain, Tom Lockhart, Diane Nawrocki, Bill Lindstrom, and Brian Hill  

Spotlight on Dyslexia 2019


Logo: Spotlight on Dyslexia Virtual Conference


Once again, Learning Ally hosted its hit online conference Spotlight on Dyslexia this past Friday.  SPOD is a dynamic conference featuring sixteen speakers from all over the country, experts and specialists in dyslexia, literacy, and neuroscience, for in-depth discussions of the facts of dyslexia and the issues faced by dyslexic students, their families and their teachers.  This incredible event lasts all day and is attended by educators and administrators, parents, students, and teachers-in-training--anyone who wants to learn more about dyslexia and the solutions available that help people with dyslexia succeed in a print-based environment and beyond.


SPOD Theatre view with list of a few of the sessions available to attendees, as well as advertising by Learning Ally and partners including


Completely online, SPOD’s Theater offered fifteen sessions (three to choose from during each session period) ranging from “Older Struggling Readers: What Do They Need?” to “We’ve Screened for Dyslexia...Now What?” and “What a Successful Public School Dyslexia Program Looks Like”.  


Dr. Maryanne Wolfe outside in front of a tree and some bushes.  She has shoulder-length brown hair, a friendly smile, and wears glasses.  She's wearing a black dress with large white polka dots, and yellow sweater, and a silver chain.


In addition, our Keynote Speaker was Dr. Maryanne Wolf,  an educator famous for her advocacy for children and literacy around the world.  Her keynote address was “Lessons from the Reading Brain for Dyslexia, Early Diagnosis, and Intervention”.  Click here to learn more about her:


SPOD Lounge, with links to the Educators chat room and the Parents chat room, as well as advertising by Learning Ally and partners including


To augment the activity of the day, we also had a Lounge with two chatrooms available all day, one specifically for educators and one specifically for parents.  These were places where people could reach out and learn from each other’s experiences. There were some great interactions going on, and it was absolutely heartwarming to see people helping each other succeed.


The Resource Center was a great place where participants could access and download pdfs and videos provided by Learning Ally, our partners, and the speakers:


SPOD Resource Center, with a list of a few of the pdfs available for download, as well as advertising by Learning Ally and partners including


Learning Ally partnered with so that educators attending the event could receive up to sixteen Continuing Education credits.  One great aspect: if you were tied up that day, every session is recorded, and participants can access the sessions and Keynote Address later to experience at the time that is best for them.  Another bonus: since participants could attend only one-third of the presentations live, the recordings give participants the opportunity to experience ALL the sessions. Educators who registered for the event have until September 30th to submit their quizzes and receive their CE credits.  Each session also had its own dedicated chat and Question and Answer that attendees could actively participate in during the live sessions, giving them the opportunity to ask questions directly to the speakers, as well as to chat with others interested in the specific topic being discussed.


We had over 1400 registered, and it was a busy day.  A few of the comments we received included:


From a teacher:  SPOD exceeded her expectations, it’s fabulous, easy to understand with great downloadable resources!


From a student: “Hi, everyone, I hope everyone’s enjoying their conference.  I’m so excited to be here to be supporting Learning Ally. Learning Ally has been such an instrumental part to my Success in school.  I’ve been using the software since 10th [grade] and it has transformed the way I learn.”


From another teacher:  “The students love Learning Ally!  I always do a group lesson how to utilize it correctly before sending them off to read/listen.  We focus on how listening to a book can be a tool that will help them become stronger readers...and they come in SO proud that they finished their first book.  I feel that Learning Ally levels the playing field for them. They can tackle a text that other students are reading and are able to discuss it with them because they are able to listen and comprehend instead of struggle to decode words and create meaning…”


In a past year an educator who attended told us, “The conference helped me grow so much as an educator and I earned CE credits.  The content and the experts were top notch!”


This year’s conference was no different--sought-after content, knowledgeable speakers, opportunities to share ideas and solutions!  Learning Ally has once again supported the success of teachers, administrators, students, and families, all over the country!  Start thinking now about joining us next time!


A classroom scene: a young teacher helping students learn how to use audiobooks in the classroom.  Everyone is smiling!


Colorful graphic of celebratory confetti and streamers rising up from festive party hat-like cones


Metrics Update for this week:


  • Our readers increased to 207,718


  • We’ve had over 135 million pages read--an increase of 66% over last year for school readers!


  • We had 45,403 reading at frequency*


Thanks for all your hard work, everyone--together we are making a tremendous difference in the lives of so many people!


*at frequency = students are reading books multiple times during the school year, with a general target of thirty times (more for lower grades, less for upper grades).  Our data shows that most of these students read for at least 20 minutes each time.

From the Training Center - Be A Good Listener

A novelty statue owl wearing headphones works at a laptop.


Our Listener focused training course is under development and has us focusing on ways we could all do more to help keep quality a top priority with Learning Ally audiobooks. The new Listener course is designed to get volunteers involved in checking the work of our Literature community narrators. While similar to the Checking process of our textbooks, there are some special distinctions that need to be made as we evaluate the presentation of literary works. Word accuracy and pronunciation are still essential but we also need to evaluate the performance of characters that bring life and energy and keep a student engaged in their reading. You can see some of our work-in-progress lesson materials on the Training Site. Just look for the Listener Course on the Courses page and you can contact for an access key if you want to take a look.


If you're eager to get involved with more opportunities to listen but don't want to wait for the new course, you can always help us provide quality reviews on some of our older book projects. There are still dozens of books looking for listeners and feedback. Visit the QA section of the volunteer portal for more information.


Building Books for Student Success is a Success!

We reached our goal! A borrower listens to an audio book on a tablet computer while his mother reads along.


The Building Books for Student Success campaign raised more than $100,000, thanks to our staff and volunteers’ efforts. In addition to the donations and outreach of various organizations and individuals, over 40 volunteers created personal fundraisers asking their network of family, friends, and colleagues to donate, acquiring 290 new donors and reaching far beyond our own network of followers. This year we also partnered with Such A Voice, an online school for voice-over artists that aligns perfectly with our mission.  Such A Voice raised close to $10,000 for BBSS and we look forward to working with them more closely in the future for volunteer recruitment. 


A Record In Virtual Book Production


This May we produced 82 VOICEText Books and 27 Classic Audiobooks. The combined total of 109 produced last month is more than we produced in October 2017, the last month before we went virtual. It's quite an achievement for our at-home volunteers but also an inevitable outcome. Since we moved to virtual production, all sorts of new avenues for volunteer involvement have opened up and as we introduce new programs, our volunteers move to fill them. Thank you for your continued work and devotion to our mission!  


Congratulations to our Training Graduates

Storyteller Course: Aisha B., Alfaiyaz I., Andrew U., Anna Z., Chantel T., Demetrius B., Ethan J., Izzy M., Janique J., Jennifer C., Kayla A., Mary S., Mary Louise H., Meital F., Michelle G., Mike P., Mitch V., Paul M., Penny W., Renee A., Ruth G., Shantayah M., Syreeta P., T K-D., Tim H., William G.
Textbook Course: Lisa T., August R., Tim H.

A Message to Tristan


Computer screen shot of Michael Burgess with a big smile on his face.  Thumbnail photos on right are of Terrie Noland, Tristan and Mrs. York, Alexis, and Dave--all smiling!


Last week we told you about eighth-grader Tristan and his accomplishment of reading an entire book for the first time in his life, sharing an interview with him recorded by Learning Ally staff member Terrie Noland.  The book Tristan read was Swing, by Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess--a wonderful story about people struggling to find their way in a confusing, complicated world.


Swing book cover: stylized image African American young man walking with backpack, book, and baseball bat, surrounded by music symbols and musical instruments traditionally used in jazz.


In response to this post, Literature Community Lead Alexis Bourbeau arranged for Learning Ally’s narrator for Swing, Michael Burgess, to record a message to Tristan, congratulating him and encouraging him to continue.  In a heartwarming video, Tristan, Tristan’s teacher Mrs. York, Terrie Noland, and Production Team staff members Alexis Bourbeau and Dave Kozemchak listen to Michael’s message and talk about Tristan’s great accomplishment, encouraging him to continue his quest for great books about subjects he’s interested in.  To watch that video, click here:


In addition, at the end of the video is a follow-up email sent by Mrs. York:  



Special thanks to Alexis and Michael for making this moment possible!


Colorful graphic of celebratory confetti and streamers rising up from festive party hat-like cones


Metrics Update for this week:


  • Our readers increased to 206,406


  • We had 44,925 reading at frequency*


This is why we all do this work:  to encourage and inspire struggling yet eager learners to explore the possibilities before them, and to help them succeed in school and beyond.


Happy June, everyone!  Thank you for all you're doing to help Tristan and other students like him!


*at frequency = students are reading books multiple times during the school year, with a general target of thirty times (more for lower grades, less for upper grades).  Our data shows that most of these students read for at least 20 minutes each time.

The Journey Begins


Reading Specialist Katherine York and eighth-grader Tristan stand in front of her classroom door.  They are both wearing bright blue Learning Ally t-shirts, and have big smiles on their faces.  Tristan is holding a copy of the book he read, Swing by Kwame Alexander.


Every day I see students who have lost faith in themselves, but I also let them know that I believe in them.  That is where their journey begins.


Reading Specialist Katherine York works with students at Walt Whitman Middle School in Fairfax, Virginia, and sees a lot of variation in the reading levels of her students...including teenagers who have never read an entire book before.  Click on this link to listen to a conversation between Mrs. York and eighth-grader Tristan: thanks to her encouragement, Kwame Alexander’s great writing, and Learning Ally’s audiobooks (including our volunteers’ dedication to the art of narration), Tristan has just completed his first book ever...and plans to read more!


Mrs. York recently wrote a blog post for Learning Ally, discussing the challenges many students face that prevent them from achieving reading fluency, and what she is doing to improve their chances of success; click here to read what she has to say:


Colorful graphic of celebratory confetti and streamers rising up from festive party hat-like cones


Metrics Update for this week:


  • Our readers increased to 205,005


  • We had 44,421 reading at frequency*


  • We’ve had over 135 million pages read--an increase of 67% over last year for school readers!


What a great way to start Memorial Day weekend--thanks, everyone!


*at frequency = students are reading books multiple times during the school year, with a general target of thirty times (more for lower grades, less for upper grades).  Our data shows that most of these students read for at least 20 minutes each time.

"Log Hours" update! - New volunteer assignment choices

There have been some new updates to the Volunteer Portal. From this week onwards, when you visit the Log Hours page and log on to add your volunteer hours, there will some changes to the list of volunteer assignments. So when you click on [Post your hours] or go to the Time Sheet tab, the drop-down menu that gives options to the question “Which assignment did you serve in?”, will have slightly different assignment names. Please check out these changes below:


  1. Listener is now Literature Listener.
  2. Narrator is now Literature Narrator.
  3. QA/Catalog Review is now Literature QA/ Catalog Review.
  4. Checker is now Textbook Checker.
  5. Checker in the VHOC is now Textbook VHOC Checker.
  6. Project Guidelines is now Textbook Pre- Production.
  7. Reader is now Textbook Reader.
  8. TOCTool is now Textbook Pre- Production.
  9. Training Support is now Textbook Training Support.

These changes should make it easier to select the correct community and assignment, and we hope this will (in a small way) improve your experience at Learning Ally. If there are any questions or concerns with these changes, please contact As always, we appreciate all the effort that you put into creating Learning Ally audiobooks!

We've Got It!


A young boy smiles as he listens to an audiobook


What do you look for in a library?  Most people look for quality content and variety of choice.  Learning Ally has both! At over 83,000 books, and growing daily, our library is an important resource for teachers, students,and families.  This quality and variety is what makes Learning Ally one of the most popular choices out there for increasing literacy levels and general enjoyment of reading.  Our members range from early elementary school children working towards fluency and teens looking for meaningful and uplifting stories, to college students and lifelong learners who enjoy digging deeper into subject matter.


Reading Specialist Jeri Powers smiles for the camera for her school photo.  She has shoulder-length blonde hair, and wears a black blouse and hot-pink jacket, with a necklace of large white beads.


Recently, staff member Terrie Noland interviewed teacher Jeri Powers of Prairie Ridge Elementary School in Kansas.  Over the course of the interview, Jeri talks about why she loves Learning Ally, and the importance of our textbooks and literature titles.  Please take a moment to listen:


(note: for some reason, the interview is attached to an image of another elementary school)



During the interview, Jeri mentions the book A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story by Linda Sue Park...and, yes, we’ve got it!  Click here to access Learning Ally’s page for our description of this book:


Colorful graphic of celebratory confetti and streamers rising up from festive party hat-like cones


Metrics Update for this week:


  • Our readers increased to 202,771


  • We’ve had over 127 million pages read!


Another great week--brought to you by the volunteers, donors, and staff of Learning Ally!  Thanks, everyone!

Learning Ally Proud!


Graphic with hand from left holding Winner certificate and hand from right holding loving cup


Learning Ally staff member Meg Roe recently shared some great news with the rest of us:  in case we didn’t already know, we are real winners! Here are just a few of the organizations that have recognized Learning Ally recently:


Parent and Teacher Choice Award Winner logo: gold medallion with stylized adults behind celebrating child figure


Parent and Teacher Choice Awards Gold Medal Winner—Best Website

The Parent and Teacher Choice™ Awards from are the most recognized and valued international awards by both parents and teachers. These awards honor educational products, services, media and toys with exceptional quality for their brain-based learning principles, creativity, innovation and fun. To be considered for this award, nominees must reflect proven learning values, stimulate higher-order thinking skills, employ brain-building principles, be innovative in their approach to helping children learn, play or be creative. Products must promote social and emotional growth, build character and help children see the joy in learning or play.


SIIA CODiE Awards 2019 logo: no images, simply the words


SIIA CODiE Awards Finalist—Best Solution for Exceptional Students

(This is a highly recognized and coveted award. Fingers crossed we will be a winner; will know soon!)

The SIIA CODiE Awards is the only peer-recognized competition in education and business technology. For more than 30 years, the SIIA CODiE Awards have been honoring software, education information and media products for excellence and innovation in technology. This year's program features 32 categories, several of which are new or updated to reflect the latest industry trends. “The 2019 CODIE Award finalists represent the finest in innovation and creativity in educational technology,” says SIIA President and CEO Jeff Joseph.  “These breakthrough products are opening doors for learners of all ages by developing and utilizing new technologies to respond to the diverse needs of student and educators.”




Logo:  The EdTech Awards at top; Cool Tool Finalist 2019 at bottom; stylized e with image of atom in middle



EdTech Digest Cool Tool Awards Finalist—Special Needs/Assistive Technology Solution

The largest, most competitive recognition program in all of education technology, the EdTech Awards recognizes people in and around education for outstanding contributions in transforming education through technology to enrich the lives of learners everywhere. Featuring EdTech’s best and brightest, the annual program shines a spotlight on cool tools, innovative leaders and innovative trendsetters in the K-12, higher education and skills and workforce sectors. The EdTech Awards recognize people, the products they produce and the lives they shape. Andrew Friedman, Learning Ally President and CEO, was a 2018 EdTech Leadership Award finalist for global leadership.



Two young boys proudly displaying their Great Reading Game awards.  One has a grin and a medal around his neck.  The other is smiling widely and holding up his GRG certificate


In addition, this past week we were pleased to hear from teachers at Woodmere Elementary School in Oregon:


Two students at Woodmere Elementary ranked in the top 5 percentile of students from nearly 1,000 elementary schools nationwide in a competition for nontraditional readers. Fifth graders Esnoy and Eric are graduates of Shadow’s Reading Mentors Program, which pairs students with a mentor and assistive reading technology designed for children with learning challenges.






Colorful graphic of celebratory confetti and streamers rising up from festive party hat-like cones


Metrics Update for this week:

  • Our readers increased to 201,345


  • We had 41,350 reading at frequency*


  • We had over 125 million pages read!


Great work, everyone!


*at frequency = students are reading books multiple times during the school year, with a general target of thirty times (more for lower grades, less for upper grades).  Our data shows that most of these students read for at least 20 minutes each time.