At the close of each SYNC season, we ask participants to complete an evaluation of their listening experiences during the previous weeks. We collect thousands of comments, as well as anonymized demographic information, from teens, librarians, teachers, and adult family members so that in each new season, we can make appropriate adjustments.
The spring and summer of 2020, of course, happened during a pandemic that created many obstacles for everyone just as the SYNC season was about to launch. How did teens feel about SYNC during this particularly unusual season of early and abrupt schoolyear endings and shifts in available spring and summer activities?
I love to use it when I'm done early on my assignments and I don't really have anything to do.
Helping me through a rough time—being read to is the highest form of comfort.
I liked it because it was my first time reading at home without any school assignments, and from now on I want to keep reading!
I never thought that I would come to enjoy reading from an audiobook. It's so cool because I can do other stuff like folding clothes while listening to a book. Thanks, SYNC, for the experience.
Teachers and librarians who share SYNC with both teens and other professionals who work with youth had some insightful remarks, too:
I just like to encourage a reading culture, and I've found that listening in a group setting is a really nice way to connect with a shared experience.
I started using SYNC when I was a high school teacher at the recommendation of the school librarian. Then my family moved across the country I found that listening to audio books made the driving days not feel so long. Once arriving at our new place, I found a book club to join and soon started sharing the joys of SYNC with all of them.
My favorite part about SYNC is getting and listening to books I wouldn’t have ever chosen for myself. It expands my world view and my reading view, which is excellent.
Here is a response from an adult listener:
I came across this program somewhat by chance. I had lost the habit of reading regularly until I tried the SYNC program. I must admit this was a nice idea to give it a try. When driving or before going to bed you can always find time to listen to a story which allows you to use your imagination and wondering how you would have reacted to an unexpected situation. Would you react differently from the character? Or would you do the same? Well, this program put me back on the path to reading. I strongly recommend it.
We have provided the quantitative results of this year’s evaluation responses on our website and included several more qualitative responses from you, our evaluators, there as well.
What’s next? Keep checking our social media accounts for updates about audiobook activities to share with teens, or try for yourself, as well as news about the new list we will be building for the 2021 SYNC season when we’ll be offering more than two dozen new selections for listening readers, ages 13+, beginning April 29.