Free Storia eReading App Helps Readers Connect with Books

As we launch into another school year, constant access to right-fit books for your students can be as close as a pocket or backpack away. Storia – a free, interactive eReading app available from Scholastic – provides students a portable digital library with features designed to engage readers and enhance comprehension.

Users who download the app at will also receive an exclusive free digital copy of the Scholastic Book Fairs Parent Guide when they log into their accounts. (Visit the iTunes App Store to download Storia onto an iPad.) Once the app is downloaded, additional titles can be bought through the Scholastic Store.

The multiplatform app can be downloaded free on PCs, iPads, and select Android tablets, and it comes with five free books. The app will soon be available for all Android tablets and smartphones, Macs, iPhones, and iPod Touches.

“Storia has been a wonderful experience to use this year in my classroom,” says Michele Higgins, a fourth-grade teacher at Midland Elementary School in Paramus, N.J. “It has really helped me and the students in my classroom become more engaged in reading and has really lit the fire under my students and their love of reading in the classroom.”

Storia features a built-in children’s dictionary and pronunciation guide appropriate to each child’s age and reading level. Enriched ebooks – designated by a lightning bolt icon – complement the book’s theme, reading level, and developmental concepts and skills using such options as Scratch & See, Word Match, Sequencing, Multiple Choice with Text, Highlighting, and Note-Taking.

“The lightning bolt indicates that children can interact with the book, and it not only helps them want to read, but it also helps them retain what they’re reading because of the experience and the interactiveness of Storia,” Michele continues.

Purchased eBooks can be moved to assigned bookshelves for up to 10 children per classroom or household. Educators and parents can view reading reports that include books opened, words looked up, time spent reading, and story interactions completed.

For classroom read-alouds, the books can be projected from a PC onto a Smartboard. “When you present it on a Smartboard, you have a much larger picture so that all children are able to see it,” says kindergarten teacher Shirley Truncale of Midland Elementary. “The children really enjoy coming up after the story is read, interacting with the activities on the Smartboard.” The application helps children with comprehension, rhyming, and recognizing initial sounds – “activities that are really appropriate for kindergarten,” Shirley says.

This fall, an update will allow educators to create tailored reading reports including book levels and synopses to guide teachers and students in selecting right-fit books. Also, teachers will be able to create more bookshelves to make Storia accessible to more students, and users will be able to link their accounts to more than the current limit of five devices.

More than 1,500 Storia eBooks are available, and more titles will be added monthly for readers from preschool through ninth grade. Storia encompasses picture books, readers, early chapter books, chapter books, middle-grade novels, young adult novels and nonfiction titles.

Library enrichment teacher Robert Marion of Midland Elementary appreciates how Storia uses technology to hook readers. “When I bring out an iPad, I have them on my side right away because it’s technology that they use, so I’m using something relevant to them,” he says. “It really keeps students focused on the story and gets them interested in a book that maybe they would not read on their own.”

Click here to download Storia on your PC and receive your five free titles.

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