Fox River Grove Memorial Library

Helping Students to Beat ‘Summer Slide’

Library Partners with Learning Bird to Offer Free Summer Learning Program


FOX RIVER GROVE, Ill., July 2, 2015 – The Fox River Grove Memorial Library has partnered with Learning Bird, a differentiated learning application, to help students in Fox River Grove School Districts 3 and 155 to avoid the “Summer Slide”.  Otherwise known as the period when young people experience learning losses by not engaging in educational activities, the Summer Slide can be averted with interesting teaching and learning resources.

The library, which maintains close contact with the local school boards  to encourage community learning services and activities, is providing free access to Learning Bird. With offices in Canada and Illinois, Learning Bird offers teacher-created digital lessons tailored specifically to students’ individual needs and aligned to their local curriculum standards. The homework-help lessons span a broad range of subjects targeted for students in grade 6 through 12th grade.

“It’s no secret children lose a lot of knowledge from the start of summer to the beginning of the next school year,” said Linda Stoppenbach, library director, Fox River Grove Memorial Library. “It’s important parents know there are options out there to help beat the summer slide.”

Learning Bird can be easily accessed from any home device, and Stoppenbach said students can also use the public library’s computers at 407 Lincoln Ave. in Fox River Grove. She added the partnership with Learning Bird will extend into the 2015-16 school year.

Stoppenbach said interested parents should call the library at (847) 639-2274 to obtain the program’s login code and gain more information.

About Learning Bird |

Learning Bird is an innovative online learning tool for 6-12 student success, powered by multiple perspectives. Its proprietary learning algorithm matches digital lessons from teachers to the local curriculum, textbooks and personalized recommendations for each student. Learning Bird’s new cross-curriculum alignment engine allows students grades 6-12 to access a wider range of lesson perspectives in order to find that “a-ha” moment. When a lesson helps students understand, Learning Bird’s algorithm learns more about how they learn and also shares revenue directly with the teachers who added the lesson.



FollettNow Exclusive Distributor ofPlayaway Launchpad


McHENRY, Ill. (June 25, 2015) –Findaway and Follett School Solutions today announced Follett is the exclusive PreK-12 distributor of Playaway Launchpad, the pre-loaded and secure children’s learning tablet designed specifically for circulation.


Introduced by Findaway in March 2015, Playaway Launchpad delivers high-quality, ad-free learning apps grouped together by subject area, theme, grade level, and age. It provides schools with a secure tablet that serves the PreK-12 market and directly addresses the common pain points of retail tablets.


“With Playaway Launchpad we’re able to deliver a turnkey tablet solution that is easy-to-use and promotes the use of interactive learning tools in the classroom,” said Nader Qaimari, senior vice president content solutions & services at Follett. “With this tablet, educators can trust that children are receiving a focused and engaging learning experience because all of the app content was selected specifically for them.”


Every Launchpad is secure, durable enough to move from one student to the next, and custom curated with apps selected to address the learning needs of students from Pre-K through 5th grade. The content collection spans the six fundamental learning areas, including English Language Arts, math, science, language learning, critical thinking, and creativity.


A custom-designed user interface gives children the opportunity to make every Launchpad experience their own by creating a personal avatar, plus an informational console gives parents and educators feedback about time spent on the tablet. Additionally, a simple one-touch reset feature erases previous user data and requires no staff maintenance, ensuring Launchpad is always shelf-ready.


“We’re proud to extend our long-standing relationship with Follett and offer a supplemental learning tool that increases engagement in and out of the classroom,” said Jennifer Leombruno, VP of the Playaway Products group at Findaway. “From Playaway audiobooks to Launchpad, educators are able to purchase a full spectrum of quality learning tools from a single, trusted source.”

Launchpad is powered by an Android operating system and features a 7-inch high-definition touch screen, external speaker, universal audio jack and a durable, protective bumper. The tablet is free of Wi-Fi and camera capabilities, ensuring a controlled user experience. Launchpad comes with everything needed to easily build a classroom collection including a shelf-ready circulating case and a USB/AC power adaptor. Additional accessories are sold separately.


Playaway Launchpad tablets are now available on Follett Titlewave. To learn more about Playaway Launchpad, please visit



About Findaway

Findaway is a global leader in digital content delivery. With the invention of Playaway Pre-loaded Products, they transformed theway that audiobooks, eBooks, videos and learning tools are circulated in 40,000 libraries, schools, and military installations.


Playaway, Playaway View, Playaway Bookpacks, Playaway Lock and Playaway Launchpad feature custom-curated content from the industry’s top publishers, studios and app providers.


Findaway also revolutionized digital audiobook delivery with AudioEngine, the industry’s largest B2B audiobook delivery platform that enables brands to deliver one of the world’s largest collections of digital audiobooks within their own experience.


To learn more about Findaway and the Findawayers who make it all happen, visit


About Follett School Solutions
Follett is the largest provider of educational materials and technology solutions to PreK-12 libraries, classrooms, learning centers and school districts in the United States, and a major supplier to educational institutions worldwide. Follett distributes books, reference materials, digital resources, ebooks and audiovisual materials, as well as pre-owned textbooks. Follett also is one of the leading providers of integrated educational technology for the management of physical and digital assets, the tracking, storing and analyzing of academic data, and digital learning environment tools for the classroom focusing on student achievement.


For more information, visit


Updated Data Highlights Whole Child Success in All 50 U.S. States

Alexandria, VA (6/24/2015)—ASCD, a global community dedicated to excellence in learning, teaching, and leading, has released updated Whole Child Snapshots for each of the 50 U.S. states to display the progress our nation has made in supporting the whole child as well as the areas where negative trends have continued. The snapshots encompass various stages of a child’s development, from prekindergarten through postsecondary education; provide a picture of child success and well-being that extends beyond academic performance; and reflect the collaboration and shared responsibility of families, schools, communities, and policymakers in supporting the whole child.

“The Whole Child Snapshots are intended to highlight how well children are faring, both in and out of school, in each state,” said David Griffith, ASCD director of public policy. “The nation has mixed results, with some encouraging signs of progress alongside some persistent challenges. We want to work with educators and the public to put in the place the strategies to best meet the comprehensive needs of children.”

The snapshots do not rank or grade states but instead provide data points aligned with each of the five whole child tenets―which contend that each student must be healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged―so that each state can measure its individual progress and compare its successes and challenges to the other states and to the nation as a whole. A sampling of the national data shows that

  • The nation’s 81 percent high school graduation rate is the highest it’s ever been.
  • 40 percent of the nation’s children have a parent or caregiver with at least two years of college education—a 2 percent point increase compared to the previous year.
  • 22 percent of the nation’s children live in poverty, which is defined as an annual income below $23,624 for a family of four.
  • 30 percent of high school students are overweight or obese.
  • The national student-to-counselor ratio increased from 471 to 1 in 2010–11 to 482 to 1 in 2012–13. Only three states meet or surpass the recommended ratio of 250 to 1.

The snapshots do not end with the data, however, and include action steps for state leaders and citizens to improve the well-being and educational achievement of their students. The next steps provide suggestions related to each of the five whole child tenets and include ideas such as regularly assessing school climate, supporting parent education and family literacy programs, and establishing multimetric accountability systems.

“Each snapshot includes recommendations for supporting the ASCD Whole Child approach because it is essential that we think clearly about the practical applications of this important data and don’t hesitate to take decisive action,” said Griffith. “We encourage educators, families, and the public to use the included suggestions as first steps toward improving their community’s approach to whole child education.”

To view the full Whole Child Snapshots for all 50 states, visit The 2014 snapshots are also accessible to show the performance of the nation and each state over time. For more information on ASCD’s 2015 public policy priorities and legislative agenda, You can also find out more about ASCD’s other programs, products, services, and memberships at



West Herts College Selects itslearning


Milton Keynes, UK – June 29, 2015 — West Herts College in the United Kingdom is a Further Education College spread over three campus locations catering for over 12,000 students aged 16+ in Hertfordshire, England offering a wide range of vocational and non-vocational courses. West Herts College is the latest in a growing network of further education institutions around the globe choosing itslearning ( as a partner. West Herts College is thrilled to have signed a five-year agreement with itslearning and see the partnership as a key part of their e-learning strategy.


“We are delighted that West Herts College has chosen itslearning, during the process that the College embarked upon to choose a new learning partner, it became clear that there were many synergies between what the college wants to achieve and what itslearning can offer.” said Arne Bergby, itslearning CEO.”


“We are developing a strong partnership with itslearning. We were very impressed with their professional approach at all stages of the selection process and their deep understanding of what we want to achieve,” said West Herts Principal, Gill Worgan.


Designed specifically for the school and further education sector, itslearning is a leading, cloud-based learning environment that enables teachers to more effectively engage todays students anytime, anywhere and on any device. Student’s expectations of technology have changed rapidly in recent years. They now demand the best technology experience not only in their personal lives, but during their education as well. The solution also fosters student content creation and peer analysis, extending the role of the student.


For more information, visit


About itslearning, Inc.

Established in 1999, itslearning is a cloud-based virtual learning environment (VLE) designed to make teaching easier, learning more engaging, and parent involvement more effective and efficient. At itslearning, we pride ourselves on understanding the needs of education. More than 20% of our employees have worked as teachers, and we can often be found in the classroom, learning from teachers. Headquartered in Bergen, Norway, itslearning has offices in Boston, Milton Keynes, Berlin, Paris, Mulhouse, Malmo, Copenhagen, and Enschede. For more information, visit