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Changing Student Destiny

     Students at the Ninth Grade School have an amazing new resource to support learning thanks to School Librarian Lisa Fierro. Using the Destiny Quest online media program students can explore books at their convenience without even going to the library. The Destiny Quest app allows students to browse cover images, read summaries and excerpts and recommend books to peers from a cell phone. 
      “Students are having fun and enjoying the library in a new way. The program gives students a space to discuss books and share opinions on what they are reading,” Fierro stated. A student favorite is the What Your Librarian is Reading section which includes a summary and recommendation written by Fierro.
     School media specialists get to know student interests throughout the year and can use the program to recommend a book to a student immediately. This is an effective way to communicate with digital natives. The student-friendly program is new for Scott County Schools this year. 
     Teachers can also take part in this learning opportunity as they discuss books with students. Using the Class Resource section, the teacher can post a list of supplemental or research materials for students. This includes both books and links to articles from research databases that students can use in conjunction with class assignments. The lists can be saved as a word document, emailed and written as a bibliography to support student research. 
     “Using this online resource, teachers have full access to all equipment available in the library. The program helps teachers provide more engaging lessons for students,” according to Fierro.
     Another key component that makes the Destiny Quest program so significant is the opportunity for parent involvement. Parents play an important role in developing a love of reading for students. Discussing what they enjoy reading motivates students and promotes reading for pleasure. This is a skill of benefit to students for a lifetime.
     For a dynamic school librarian like Fierro, the goal is to show students the program and make it fun and accessible. To enhance student reading, she knows she has to get books in the hands of students first. The student response has been favorable, especially the Top 10 Books section which identifies the 10 most popular reads for students at the Ninth Grade School. 
     The Hunger Games is an anticipated read for students and has earned five stars as well as comments like, “This book is amazing, fast-paced and fun!” Fellow students agree, “This book is a must-read for everybody—fans of sci-fi or not!” The comments continue, “This book kept me interested the whole time!”
     To find out what students at the Ninth Grade School are reading and what they think about it, visit www.ninthmediacenter.wordpress.com.

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