By Angela Musallam

ELK GROVE (CBS13) — The Elk Grove Unified School District is testing a new application to help students keep up with the rest of their peers.

Reading and writing have been a challenge for 10-year-old Karah Quarels, but that changed last month.

“It really helps me get a lot of stuff out that I can’t get out on paper,” she said.

She’s been using and app called Read and Write designed to help her write essays and read faster with a school-issued computer.

“It would tell me all the definitions of what the word is and I would find the right word and how to spell it,” she said.

Now, it takes her less time to finish the homework and she feels like she’s learning more.

“It makes me feel really great, ’cause when I didn’t have it, I felt lonely, cause I wasn’t at the grade level and I was sad,” she said. “Now I feel like I have it down.”

Her teacher,  Linda Bertacchi, agrees.

“Her writing and her spelling and reading have come a long way,” she said.

The fourth-grade teacher at Marion Mix Elementary School says the app has inspired her to integrate online learning with the rest of the class.

“You can do reading tests online, listening to stories, comprehension, spelling. I had them do a presentation,” she said.

Bertacchi hopes to place the app in more students’ hands to help them learn more efficiently So far, 200 students in the Elk Grove district use the app to help them read and write.

It’s also turned Karah’s frustration into motivation. She’s on track with the rest of her class without needing extra attention.

“I feel like I can go up to the grade level I’m supposed to be at,” she said.

The district has received global attention for using the apps, and has inspired educators from Japan and Ireland.


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