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whitehouseAs part of the ConnectED Initiative, the president announced a plan to offer free e-books to low income students.

The newly formed coalition of libraries, nonprofits and publishers are collaborating to bring thousands of e-books to millions of children through a new digital app in the coming months. Publishers are contributing over $250 million worth of free e-books, which will be available later this year through that free, public app, which will work on a variety of digital platforms. Participating publishers so far include Bloomsbury, Candlewick, Cricket Media, Hachette, HarperCollins, Lee & Low, Macmillan, Penguin Random House, and Simon & Schuster.

The White House also reported that even among households making under $30,000, 47 percent — almost half — have access to a mobile device. And as that number grows, particularly with the help of the private-sector commitments of ConnectED and schools’ own adoption of digital tools, it presents an opportunity to support kids who want to continue learning beyond the classroom walls, in their own homes and communities after school.

The plan also includes an effort to put a library card in the hand of every student, and with it access to the resources of their local library.

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