Brodhead Grant Used for Digital Audiobooks

October 14, 2015
The Phyllis B. Brodhead Library Media Technology Fund has helped Ithaca City School District (ICSD) media centers invest in technology, making it possible to engage a new generation of tech-savvy students and help them develop a love of reading.  Charles W. Brodhead (aka Chuck) created an Ithaca Public Education Initiative (IPEI) special fund to provide grants in memory of his late wife Phyllis to honor her 33 year career as teacher and librarian at Boynton Middle School.  She was keenly aware of the educational value of technology in school settings, and the $1,000 annual grant assists in maintaining her legacy. 
Since creating this fund, Chuck died in fall, 2011.  Through his generous bequest, his estate added funding for this important endeavor, as well as for two IPEI Red and Gold Grants each year in his memory through the Charles W. and Phyllis B. Brodhead Memorial Fund.
For the third year in a row, ICSD Teacher Librarians requested funds to purchase downloadable digital audiobooks which offer readers an opportunity to hear a book professionally read aloud while following the text. Listening to text while seeing the book helps to develop fluency, vocabulary, story sense, and comprehension, and can be a valuable tool to help challenged students.
These audiobooks are a timely complement to the Chromebook initiative begun this year in the Ithaca school district.  Boynton Librarian Annarose Foley commented, “With the 1:1 Chromebook initiative, we thought it prudent to continue building our digital collection with titles in a format students can use on their new devices… The titles were selected to support the curriculum here at Boynton Middle School, are specific requests from the other Teacher-Librarians, and came highly recommended by reviewers.”  Foley mentions that she promotes the digital collection during her library orientations for students and that the students are able to download the digital items for future enjoyment.
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