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Using Digital Books to Engage Families Beyond School Hours

Tuesday, September 12, 2023 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EDT

Using Digital Books to Engage Families Beyond School Hours

Presented by Lisa McManus, Program and Partnership Manager, Worldreader; Kristen Walter, Director, US Programs, Worldreader; and Meredith McKinney, Black Book Project Founder and Community Achieves Program Specialist for the Board of Education for Metro Nashville Public Schools

Sponsored by Worldreader

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Learn more about viewing the live presentation and the recording, earning your CE certificate, and using our new accessibility features.

With the school year in full swing, many of us in the reading community are primed and ready to support our partners in the classroom with tips, resources, and strategies. But, in addition to the heroic work of educators at schools across the country, we know that what happens once the dismissal bell rings is also essential.

In this edWebinar, the presenters share how one district incorporates digital reading into their family engagement planning, how to examine current community spaces for the inclusion of reading activities, and how to explore what motivates families to read. Viewers are able to identify:

  • Strategies for merging family engagement strategies with reading activities using digital tools
  • Under-utilized community spaces where families spend time thinking through an outreach plan to incorporate reading activities
  • Strategies to drive reading engagement through hybrid programming, helping to answer the question, “What motivates families to develop reading habits?”

Viewers leave with access to the free BookSmart app, with family engagement activities and a family engagement planning sheet. Using digital books, like those on BookSmart, allows schools to have a high-tech, high-touch approach to their new school year inside and outside the classroom.

This recorded edWebinar is of interest to PreK-5 teachers, librarians, school and district leaders, education technology leaders, and those involved with after-school programs.

Lisa McManus

About the Presenters

Lisa McManus is the U.S. Partnership and Program Manager for Worldreader in Chicago, IL. She has spent her career teaching students kindergarten through 4th grade throughout the U.S. and coaching teachers in best practices around literacy instruction. She holds a master’s degree in reading and literacy and is part of the team developing the first monthly newsletter at Worldreader geared toward teachers, partners, and families. Throughout her 20 plus years in education, she has been an active member of her community through coaching students in basketball and Girls on the Run, as well as volunteering with Little Brothers – Friends of the Elderly and Chicago Canine Rescue. In her free time, she enjoys teaching group fitness classes and playing with her dog, Judy.

Kristen Walter

Kristen Walter, Worldreader’s Director of US Programs, has worked in literacy education for the last 20 years. Before joining the Worldreader team, Kristen was the Director of Education and Partnerships for Reading In Motion, and Teaching and Learning Manager for Crayola. Kristen’s teaching career spanned over 15 years, starting as a certified art and music instructor in NC and ending as an arts integration specialist with a focus on improving literacy development for second language learners. A leader in the classroom and beyond, Kristen helped her school become a national Title I school, P21 Exemplar School, finalist in the Intel Schools of Distinction Math Award, CCAC Crayola grant winner, and winner of the National School Change Award. She has been recognized as a Yale Distinguished Music Educator and both Kristen and her fifth-grade students were invited to showcase a game design project at the first annual White House Arts Integration Fair.

Meredith McKinney

Meredith McKinney is a Nashville native who has spent her professional career in education. In her professional role, Meredith works at the Board of Education as a Community Achieves Program Specialist for Metro Nashville Public Schools; her work involves leveraging community partners to best meet the needs of students and families within Metro schools. Meredith received her B.S. degree from Oakwood University in Huntsville, AL, and her M.S. degree from Alabama A&M University in Huntsville, AL. She is currently working on her Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) program in Educational Leadership.

As a former elementary school teacher, Meredith is most passionate about reading and recognizes how vital representation is in children’s literature. Meredith is committed to the community personally and professionally. Meredith is the founder of The Black Book Project, an initiative designed to increase representation in children’s literature. She was inducted into the Nashville Public Education Foundation Hall of Fame for the impact of The Black Book Project and has been featured on PBS to highlight its significance. The Black Book Project has given away more than 8,000 books to date.

Meredith is also a monthly contributor to the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), which empowers minority students to get to and through college and become leaders in their communities. She believes education can drastically help level the playing field for people of color. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, spending time with friends and family, and traveling with her husband and two sons.

Learn more about viewing the live presentation and the recording, earning your CE certificate, and using our new accessibility features.

Join the Community and Family Engagement community to network with educators, participate in online discussions, receive invitations to upcoming edWebinars, and view recordings of previous programs to earn CE certificates.


Worldreader gets children reading so they can reach their potential. The international nonprofit organization works with partners to get children reading at least 25 books a year with understanding, because regular reading leads to improved educational outcomes, stronger emotional intelligence, and higher earning potential. Worldreader achieves impact with BookSmart, a complete reading experience that improves reading comprehension, social-emotional, and digital literacy skills for children ages 3-12 years old. Since 2010, Worldreader has supported more than 21 million readers in over 100 countries.

Worldreader US Keep children reading


Tuesday, September 12, 2023
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EDT
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