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TeachingBooks brings free K-12 resources to Wisconsin residents

MADISON - A free online collection of multimedia resources on children's books — including audio of book readings and guides to books and authors — has launched on a Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction site just in time for the school year.

TeachingBooks is a new service of BadgerLink, which provides state-sponsored access to journal and newspaper articles, encyclopedias and other resources to Wisconsin schools, libraries and homes.

Madison educator Nick Glass, who originally came to Madison to study educational policy at UW, started the program.

"I started TeachingBooks with the intent that I could use technology as an equalizer," he said. While registration is required, it's freely available to any Wisconsin resident.

"It's supporting home learning, homeschooling, libraries ... [and] it's used very much within the curriculum of schools," Glass said. "Every library and school depends on BadgerLink in this state."
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The site boasts 9,000 K-12 resources, including movies filmed in award-winning authors' studios, transcripts of interviews with authors, and guides to books. It is supported in part by a grant from the state Department of Commerce and counsel from the Small Business Development Center.

"TeachingBooks on BadgerLink demonstrates Wisconsin's commitment to providing everyone equal access to educational and literacy resources," said Elizabeth Burmaster, state superintendent of public instruction.

"Through TeachingBooks, all Wisconsin children can see and hear the best authors and illustrators in their studios. These glimpses into who the authors are and how they work are exciting and valuable experiences."

Glass said he's happy Wisconsin has kept BadgerLink and TeachingBooks in its budget. More than 80 percent of the state's school districts use BadgerLink resources, he said, but not all states have been as generous.

"Some states like Texas pulled it, and that's a disaster," he said.

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