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SLS Reading Challenge

Just because school buildings and libraries are closed, doesn’t mean students have stopped reading.

In fact, the Oneida/Herkimer School Library System’s (O/H SLS) has seen an uptick in ebook and audiobook borrowing activity during the recent school building closures. Even though students don’t have access to their school or public libraries right now, they are still enjoying stories and gaining knowledge through digital reading.

Through the O/H SLS, many local students and teachers have access to Sora, a student reading app that provides access to ebook and audiobook versions of their school’s library collection. Of course, reading has some impressive benefits for children and teens, including improved vocabulary, language skills and concentration, but adding the technology of digital reading brings its own unique advantages. The Sora app allows students to set their own pace, return borrowed titles automatically, take notes and define words while reading, track their reading progress and even select a font option that’s easier to read for children with dyslexia. Students can also add their local public library to their Sora account, opening up an even larger world of titles to explore!

Over the past 30 days, Jefferson Elementary (Utica CSD), New York Mills Elementary, Watson Williams Elementary (Utica CSD), and Hughes Elementary (Utica CSD) have topped the list of O/H SLS schools that checked out the most books through Sora.

In an effort to further promote reading during the school building closures, and encourage students in our area to try out Sora, the O/H SLS is launching a school reading challenge on Monday, May 4! Each week we’ll be sharing a leaderboard on our OHM BOCES social media channels of the top five schools that checked out the most books through Sora during the previous week.

Can you help your school become #1?

If you’re already in the top spot, can you defend your title?

To get started with Sora, visit or search and download the Sora app in your mobile device’s app store. Enter setup code, “oneidaherkimer” and then select your school building from the dropdown menu. Last, you’ll need to enter your username and password, which you can request from your school library or by contacting

Make reading a daily habit and help your school reach the top of our list!

The O/H SLS is an organization of 22 school districts and four nonpublic schools in a BOCES region that provide library coordination and services to member libraries under a plan of service approved by the Commissioner of Education. The O/H SLS promotes and facilitates equitable access to information through coordinated resource sharing, and leads the investigation and introduction of effective technologies to member libraries.