Protecting the privacy of our website visitors is very important to us. Because we gather certain types of information about our users, we want to make sure you understand the ways in which we may and may not use the information you transmit to us when you visit Reading Rockets. This statement discloses the privacy practices for all WETA web sites.
The information gathered by Reading Rockets falls into two categories: (1) information voluntarily supplied by visitors to Reading Rockets and (2) tracking information routinely gathered as visitors navigate through our site.
Voluntarily supplied information
To make use of certain features on Reading Rockets you need to register and provide certain information as part of the registration process. The information you supply will help us to offer you more personalized features and to tailor our sites to your interests and make them more useful to you. Reading Rockets does not collect any personally-identifying information unless you choose to provide that information to us.
The more you tell us about yourself, the more value we can offer you. Supplying such information is entirely voluntary. But if you don't supply the information we need, we may be unable to provide you with services we make available to other visitors to our sites. For example, we can't offer you subscription to electronic newsletters and we can't send you e-mail alerting you to any new service we're offering or breaking news that may interest you if you don't tell us your preferences and give us your e-mail address. Of course, even if you want to remain completely anonymous you're still free to take advantage of the wealth of content available on our site without registration.
The areas of the site in which we collect information, the information collected, and the purpose for collecting that information are described below:
Subscription to electronic newsletters, online events, and online courses
Reading Rockets offers free electronic newsletters to users. The newsletters include highlights of Reading Rockets web site content and other news of interest. Reading Rockets also offers occasional online discussion events and online courses. To sign up, you must provide your e-mail address, first and last name, and you must choose a password. Other information is optional. To remove yourself from any of the mailing lists, you can sign in using your e-mail address and password and unsubscribe.
Posting to bulletin boards or using online surveys
To use Reading Rockets' message boards you must register with a unique username. This username and posts made under that username are not correlated to any personally-identifying information collected elsewhere in the site. We may, however, generalize your responses without personally identifiable information so other visitors may learn from your response. We may also use your comments for promotional purposes without personally identifiable information.
Sending e-mail to "Ask an Expert"
As a public service, the Reading Rockets staff and consultants respond personally to e-mails we receive through "Ask an Expert." Questions are answered by experts who are up-to-date on the latest reading research and knowledgeable about the practical challenges facing parents and teachers. You'll receive a response in a few days and correspondence will remain confidential and will not be posted. To send email to Reading Rockets, you must enter a name and e-mail address, and of course, your question. This information is used to respond to your question, in aggregate form for statistical purposes, and may be generalized without personally identifiable information so other visitors may learn from the question and answer.
Sending feedback to Reading Rockets through the "Contact Us" page and Fun Quiz page
To send e-mail to Reading Rockets through the "Contact Us" page and to submit an answer to the Fun Quiz, you must enter a name and e-mail address. This information is used to respond to your comments, in aggregate form for statistical purposes, and for promotional purposes without personally identifiable information.
Visitors under the age of 18 must obtain permission from their parents or guardians before sending any personally-identifying information to Reading Rockets.
Reading Rockets' web server automatically collects and logs limited information about your computer's connection to the Internet when you visit our site. The information collected in these log files allows us to make our site more useful to our visitors. The access logs do NOT record your name, address, phone number, e-mail address, credit card number, or any other personally-identifying information. Rather, they contain some or all of the following information:
- The Internet Protocol Address (IP Address) of the machine you used to access our web site*
- The date and time you visited
- The pages you visited on our site
- The brand and version of browser you used, and the type of computer you used.
- A list of files you downloaded or viewed
- The amount of time you spent viewing or listening to streaming media files
- Any errors you encountered
*Your IP address is a number that lets computers attached to the Internet know where to send you data. Your IP address does not identify you personally. Most Internet Service Providers use a "dynamic" form of assigning IP Addresses. This means that you may have a different IP Address each time you visit Reading Rockets. Also, many Internet Service Providers, including America Online, use "Proxy servers" which provide even more anonymity for visitors. For example, all visitors accessing Reading Rockets through America Online will be recorded in our access logs as having the same IP Address.
To help make our sites more responsive to the needs of our visitors, we invoke a standard feature found in browser software, called a "cookie," to assign each visitor a unique, random number, a sort of anonymous user ID that resides on your computer. The cookie doesn't actually identify the visitor, just the computer that a visitor uses to access our site. Unless you voluntarily identify yourself (through registration, for example), we won't know who you are, even if we assign a cookie to your computer. The only personal information a cookie can contain is information you supply. A cookie can't read data off your hard drive, and our cookie can't read the cookie files created by other sites. Our sponsors may also assign their own cookies to your browser to track which ads you have viewed, a process that we don't control.
Information sharing and sites beyond Reading Rockets