April 17, 2019

O’Neill Middle School Improves Student Literacy Skills with Thorndike Press Large Print Books from Gale

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. and Downers Grove, Ill. – April 17, 2019 – Large print books help O’Neill Middle School students improve their reading skills and become more confident readers. The school is using Thorndike Press large print books from Gale, a Cengage company, to help striving readers develop and strengthen their literacy skills. This empowers students to overcome reading challenges and develop the confidence and determination to become future-ready learners.

O’Neill Middle School is located in Downers Grove, Illinois with nearly 500 students in the 7th and 8th grades. With a mission to provide students with quality educational programs and support services, the school needed resources to help students who were struggling to read at their grade level. O’Neill turned to Thorndike Press large print books as an alternative to the regular print books they were using.

“When I learned more about large print books from Thorndike Press, I realized I had to add them to my collection,” said Tasha Squires, School Librarian at O’Neill Middle School. “It struck me that large print could be a great connection between the lower-level reading materials and regular text/reading level books.”

Thorndike Press large print books are similar in size to other standard editions and have the same cover art. By using a 16-point font on thinner, higher quality paper and laying out the text to maximize the use of white space, the books reduce eyestrain and increase readability.

As students started to use the large print books, Squires noticed significant improvements in their reading skills. In a survey she conducted of the students reading large print books,[i] nearly 70% said they were able to concentrate better. The findings also showed that the majority of students preferred large print over regular print books because they:

  • remembered more of the story
  • found themselves reading for longer periods of time
  • enjoyed the reading process more
  • were able to find their place faster, when looking up from the book

“Giving students the choice to decide what format they would prefer reading a book in, is incredibly powerful and makes them more willing to engage with the content,” said Squires. “It also allows them the ability to comprehend more because it’s in a format that’s accessible to them.”

Since beginning their large print initiative in October 2018, O’Neill’s large print titles have had total circulation of 4.85%—an impressive percentage considering large print makes up only 136 titles of the library’s total collection of 13,000 items.

“These books aren’t just for striving readers—they work for ALL readers,” said Squires. “Large print texts are part of the larger picture for reading in general, because they help students overcome challenges they might have and allows them to be successful.”

Read the entire story about O’Neill Middle School’s success with Thorndike Press books.

For more information on Thorndike Press visit: gale.com/thorndikepress.

About Thorndike Press

As the world’s leading large print publisher, Thorndike Press, a Gale company, helps readers of all ages enjoy books. Publishing unabridged reprints in large print format for middle grade and young adult readers started in 1999 and our catalogue of nearly 400 titles grows monthly with high-interest fiction and nonfiction books, including contemporary classics, award-winners and bestsellers. Our commitment to producing high quality, 100% guaranteed large print books supports young readers as they develop the skills necessary to become successful, confident, lifelong readers. For more information visit: gale.com/thorndikepress/ya.

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About Cengage and Gale

Cengage is the education and technology company built for learners. The company serves the higher education, K-12, professional, library and workforce training markets worldwide. Gale, a Cengage company, provides libraries with original and curated content, as well as the modern research tools and technology that are crucial in connecting libraries to learning, and learners to libraries. For more than 60 years, Gale has partnered with libraries around the world to empower the discovery of knowledge and insights – where, when and how people need it. Gale has 500 employees globally with its main operations in Farmington Hills, Michigan. For more information, please visit www.gale.com.

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[i] From a survey of 66 participating O’Neill Middle School 7th–8th graders regarding reading large print for the first time in classroom and library settings (January – May 2018).


Media Contact:

Kayla Siefker, Gale, a Cengage company, 248-699-8456, [email protected]