Accessing CARES Act funding to purchase Book Creator
Supporting language learners with Book CreatorGive your students the confidence to communicate
What is CARES Act funding?
In March 2020, the US government signed off the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This emergency funding included a $13.2 billion package called the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER Fund) - to support K-12 school districts with the shift to remote learning and other costs relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ESSER Fund
This funding is available to Local Educational Agencies (LEAs), including charter schools that are LEAs, and has been allocated to State Educational Agencies (SEAs) in the same proportion that they are allocated Title I funds. You can view the allocation for each state in this PDF from the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education.
The CARES Act provides districts with discretion over how these funds are allocated, however, there is a long list of allowable activities that must be adhered to. These activities have a broad range, and many of them fall within a remit that Book Creator can support.
- Purchasing of education technology for students
- Providing online learning to students
- Activities to support:
- Children with disabilities
- English learners
Obviously, the first activity applies directly to Book Creator, but we’ll take a look in greater detail how Book Creator supports all of these activities, and can help you with any funding applications you submit with a view to purchasing district licenses for Book Creator.
Accessing the ESSER Fund to purchase Book Creator
How does Book Creator relate to the ESSER Fund?
So, let’s explore those allowable activities within the CARES Act criteria that Book Creator obviously relates to. You can use these to support your application.
Purchasing of education technology for students
OK, this one pretty much speaks for itself. The usual reasons you would purchase Book Creator apply here - the ability to infuse creativity throughout the curriculum; improve students’ literacy by helping them become published authors; and support the development of future-ready skills such as communication and collaboration.
Provide online learning to students
The switch to remote learning is probably the single biggest challenge to arise for schools from the COVID-19 pandemic. There are numerous reasons why Book Creator is the perfect tool for online learning, and we’ve explored these in detail in our remote learning for schools hub.
- Easy setup - LMS integration, Single Sign On
- No barriers to getting started - even kindergarteners will be able to make books
- Adaptable to your needs - configure unlimited libraries by grade level, student or topic
- Engaging and motivating tool for asynchronous learning
Supporting children with disabilities
Book Creator’s multimodal tools and supports make lessons accessible while building in student voice and choice. Our app supports Universal Design for Learning principles which mean you can offer students multiple means of engagement, representation action and expression.
In 2020 we released more than 230 accessibility improvements to the app, making Book Creator one of the most accessible apps out there.
Supporting English Learners
Book Creator is the perfect app for language learning because it supports work in all four of the domains: reading, writing, speaking & listening.
You can scaffold support for students who are new to English by allowing them to use the app in their native language, dictating text in their native language, or by captioning audio or video in their native language. Plus, they have the freedom to communicate in a variety of media - text, images, drawings, audio or video, so they can focus on the communication skills without worrying about their language ability.
We use Book Creator to target all the language domains of our ELs, especially speaking and writing. We use it to build background for our students to support the content instruction.
We also are using Book Creator to support phonics instruction and fluency checks at the elementary level. For middle and high school we will create student portfolios to track progress, which will be huge since we have so many transient students.