The Tainan English Reading Festival will soon liven up your summer vacation, and now there’s even more good news! The Tainan City Government organized the “Unprecedented in Asia! Scholastic Sponsors Tainan Citizens Press Conference” today (June 14), during which Tainan City Mayor Huang Wei-che announced that SCHOLASTIC CORPORATION, the world’s largest publisher of children’s books, is offering free access for one year to its “BookFlix” and “TrueFlix” English e-book platforms to Tainan’s 1.88 million citizens. Citizens are encouraged to make good use of this extraordinary resource!
Huang said many parents value English education for their children. However, English books are quite expensive, and parents “may not have time to read books to their children” even after purchasing books or “may worry that their pronunciation is imperfect.” Starting today, these worries will no longer vex Tainan’s 1.88 million residents. The English e-book platforms offered by SCHOLASTIC have “massive” English resources, are suitable for all ages, and include numerous international award-winning picture books. They also offer a “read along” system that reads sentences one by one so that children can improve their listening and reading abilities simultaneously. Learners can use their computers, phones, and tablets to read e-books and view accompanying English videos. The interfaces are so user-friendly that even grandparents will be able to work them. Residents are urged to put these resources to good use!
SCHOLASTIC TAIWAN general manager Dong Xin-jia said this sponsorship was the first of its kind in Asia for the company, and the head office in the United States believes it to be very important. After seeing so many Tainan residents enthusiastically participating in Tainan English Reading Festival activities, the company decided to become a sponsor. This year, it is sponsoring access to two English e-book platforms, BookFlix and TrueFlix. Annual subscriptions normally cost NT$1,200, but this sponsorship means Tainan residents will have free access for an entire year.
Dong added that BookFlix contains many well-known, award-winning English picture books. Each book has an accompanying short video in English. Many celebrities, including American actresses Sarah Jessica Parker and Meryl Streep, lend their voices to the videos. This way, learning English is no longer boring. BookFlix is geared towards elementary and junior high school students. TrueFlix’s offerings are classified by subject, and the content emphasizes subject knowledge. It is recommended for high school students and adults. In addition to sponsoring access to these platforms, SCHOLASTIC also offered the image usage rights to its famous “Clifford the Big Red Dog” picture book series and “The Hunger Games” fiction series to the Tainan City Government for use in the English Reading Passport handed out to elementary and junior high school students. It is hoped that the endorsement of these beloved figures will boost the interest of children in learning English.
The Tainan City Government’s Office of English as the Second Official Language (OEASOL), the organizer, said SCHOLASTIC publishes many books and all of them have won international awards. Over 90 percent of kindergartens, elementary schools, and junior high schools in the United States have opted to use its books as teaching materials. SCHOLASTIC is therefore considered to be the “most trusted name in education.” It is also the exclusive publisher of the “Harry Potter” and “The Hunger Games” series. Even pop star Taylor Swift is a fan. The OEASOL originally worried that the American e-book system would “not adjust” to Tainan, so it consulted and solicited the opinions of principals and teachers beforehand, receiving positive comments and feedback. It then launched the “2019 Tainan English Reading Festival” and planned a series of online reading challenges aimed at different groups. It hopes residents can make good use of these valuable English e-book resources. The “2019 Tainan English Reading Festival” will kick off on June 24. Access to the e-book platforms will be available starting on June 24.