Student PLAY Program in Effingham County Schools

Staff Report

Wednesday, December 16th, 2020

Live Oak Public Libraries (LOPL) and Effingham County Schools(ECS) announce the launch of the Student PLAY Program, providing all ECS students with free public library access. Students can easily connect to materials and resources to help them succeed inside and outside of the classroom.

Student PLAY (PINES Library Access for Youth) is an innovative collaboration between Live Oak Public Libraries, Georgia Public Library Service’s statewide PINES network (Public Information Network for Electronic Services), and public school districts. The partnership between libraries and schools demonstrates the community's commitment to education and strengthens support for literacy and lifelong learning.

“The PLAY program expansion to Effingham County Schools offers these students greater access to library services and increases their potential for success. The program reduces barriers by giving all students a direct connection to valuable learning resources at no cost and without fines,” says David Singleton, Executive Director of Live Oak Public Libraries.

The Student PLAY program is available to approximately 13,000 ECS students in Pre-K through 12th grade. ECS students are automatically enrolled in the program. Their student number, the number used for school lunches and other services, becomes the student’s library account number.

There are no overdue fines for student accounts; the only charges are for lost or damaged items. The program is free and access to public library resources and services are free.

ECS students are able to use their PLAY account at any LOPL location and online. Students can check out books, ebooks, audiobooks, videos, and more. Libraries offer use of computers, internet, and Wi-Fi. Digital resources are available online anytime using any device from home or school.

"The Student PLAY program creates new opportunities for our students, which is particularly important as we continue look for additional ways to support children and families in these challenging times. This initiative helps students of all ages by making it easier for them to get information and resources from their local library as well as online," notes Dr. Yancy Ford, Superintendent of Effingham County School District.

The PLAY program enriches academic experience. By working together with schools, the public library becomes an extension of the classroom, providing students with access to books, technology, free tutoring, reading programs, and other important materials and resources.

Students have access to more than 11 million items across the LOPL system as well as other PINES libraries in the state. Children can explore engaging learning activities and build literacy skills. Youth can find homework help as well as study tools to prepare for the future, with college exam prep and job readiness. By promoting student success in and out of school, the program also is an asset for educators, parents, and caregivers.

LOPL piloted the Student PLAY program, formerly known as Student PASS (PINES Access for Student Success), in March 2020 with 38,000 students from the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System. There are plans to expand to other school systems in the region in the future.

To learn more about the Student PLAY Program, visit Live Oak Public Libraries or go to liveoakpl.org/play.