About the Project
The Nonfiction Minute is a free daily posting of about 400 words written by some two dozen award-winning children’s nonfiction authors. Each post is accompanied by an audio file that makes the content accessible to less fluent readers. The authors are all members of iNK Think Tank where we have also established a free database where our books can be searched by topic and grade level. Since the launch in September 2014, we have averaged 1,500 page views a day and trending upwards.
The project was created with very limited funding that came from the dues the authors pay to iNK and from revenues of our Authors on Call programs. The editor, Jean Reynolds, worked pro-bono. We are currently applying for nonprofit status so that we can continue the project. We have created a full school year’s worth of Minutes and will republish them for the 2014-2015 school year so that we can create more of them.
We will also be licensing them nonexclusively next year to several prominent online education publishers. The response from teachers has been very favorable:
“I really enjoyed these Nonfiction Minutes. I could definitely use them in my classroom. I teach second grade and my district will not invest in a reading series. This has its good and bad points as you can imagine. It is tough to write lesson plans when there are no materials. Some supervisors want text in the kids’ hands which can be tricky without many books, especially nonfiction. My only question is will these nonfiction minutes be assigned a reading level of any kind? Keep up the good work. It will be appreciated by many teachers and students.”
“The beauty of the NFM is that it is not static, there are new pieces each day and students learn to browse in search of what interests them. The writing is full of vocabulary and language that are challenging for the elementary reader, but because they can listen in and tricky text is explained verbally, the kids can understand material that they could not read on their own and maintain interest. In this age of the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy, the returns of adding the NFM as a choice in our classroom have been invaluable. “