New Mexico Governor's Reading Initiative

We are very excited that, for the third year in a row, an Arbordale title has been selected for the First Grade Reading Initiative! This year's picture book selection is Deep in the Desert / En lo profundo del desierto (Bilingual)by Rhonda Lucas Donald and illustrated by Sherry Neidigh. 4000 hardcover books were delivered in early May to 62 different district and school locations throughout the state.

Book page & interactive ebook preview
bilingual ebook preview (pdf)

Plus, access to 150 STEM-themed, dual-language, interactive, read-aloud ebooks

As part of bid selection, we have provided every elementary school in New Mexico and their families at home, access to our Fun eReader® platform with interactive ebooks featuring:

    read aloud in English and Spanish (and some Chinese)
    word highlighting with reading speed control
    tap animals to hear them screech, howl, and roar
    tap words to hear them read aloud

Last year in early November, as part of the 2017 bid award, all NM schools were sent their one-year Fun eReader® school licenses. With this new 2018 bid award, we have extended school license expire dates to 3/31/2019. Click here for Press Release (.docx)

How to access ebooks ... 3 options:

1. Access links - sent to schools for use in the school, and for sharing with families directly and via their school websites.
2. Website portal - go to and click eBook Access. Login to "School's Fun eReader" and select: 3. Free Apps

Reading Contest - 6 school awards in two categories - Congratulations to our four winners!!

1. For Most ebooks read between 9/1/17 and 12/31/2017: 2. For Most ebooks read per student between 9/1/17 and 12/31/2017:

Here are the top 10 with winners highlighted!

School Location
Ebooks Read
per student
Hermosa Elementary Artesia 317 15 0 3991 12.59
North Star Elementary Albuquerque 608 0 0 2221 3.65
Jefferson Montessori Academy Carlsbad 99 1750 0 1857 18.76
Nina Otero Community School Santa Fe 467 1404 0 1381 2.96
Gonzales Elementary Santa Fe 285 0 0 1119 3.93
El Dorado Community School Santa Fe 334 0 0 1069 3.20
Christine Duncans Heritage Academy Albuquerque 164 21 0 890 5.43
Pinon Elementary White Rock 306 0 0 692 2.26
E.J. Martinez Elementary Santa Fe 252 0 0 558 2.21
Yucca Elementary Alamogordo 364 953 0 512 1.41

About Arbordale books and eBooks:

Arbordale books are first and foremost fun-to-read picture books with engaging stories to instill a love of reading. Our STEM-related books are either fictional stories with non-fiction facts woven throughout the story, narrative nonfiction, or nonfiction with a cuddle factor to engage children making learning fun and exciting. All books include 2-6 pages of our signature For Creative Minds (FCM) back matter that is designed to facilitate parental engagement even if the parents themselves no longer remember or never learned the underlying science. Arbordale's Fun eReader® ebook format is perfect for beginning or struggling readers and ELL / Dual-language learners.

Supplemental Resources. Should teachers and parents wish to do more than read the stories, here are supplemental resources for each book that can be accessed through the ebooks and Arbordale's website:
Also of note, each book is:
Spanish Translation. All 140 titles are translated into Spanish and when you play with the ebooks, you'll see that they have language selection on a simple English-Spanish toggle that enables selection on-the-fly with near instantaneous change in audio and imagery while remaining on the same page. Also, the word highlighting and ability to slow down the reading are game changers and make our eReader a serious reading and language learning tool. More specifically, numerous studies have shown that audio to text synching supports comprehension and engagement with the text and helps develop oral language skills, fluency, and pronunciation. Our Spanish translator and narrator, Rosalyna, hails from Mexico City but now lives in Texas and has taught college Spanish in the US for many years. Her translations are vetted by Frederico, who lives in Mexico City and has been an educational consultant and professional translator for over 20 years.

Letter to send home. Here are templates in English & Spanish explaining this Reading Initiative which can be downloaded to edit and send to your teachers and families: Letter / Flyer

As a small, independent publishing company, we pride ourselves on offering a strong catalog of fiction, narrative nonfiction, and nonfiction titles, each with an elementary-level science or math connection that has been thoroughly vetted by experts in the field. Our interactive eBooks, published books in English and Spanish, and a plethora of supplemental resources makes us the perfect fit for any school or library that wants to engage children at school or at home by sparking their natural curiosity while improving their reading skills, language acquisition, and critical thinking skills. We hope that your school families will love reading the books.

As a reminder, here are last year's Reading Initiative selections:

If you have questions, please call us at 843-971-6722 (east coast) or .