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TURNING A NEW PAGE: Scholastic Inc. Aims to Close Reading Gap

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"These students have missed years of instruction. To close the gap, we need to give them more," said Dr. Jane Allen.

Scholastic’s Read 180, a technology based literacy program targeted at underachieving readers, is being used in 25 urban districts and recently received approval as supplemental learning material in California. The program requires technology in every classroom, dedicated teachers with constant professional development and training, and class sizes of 20 or fewer students. Ninety-minute block classes meet daily for uninterrupted literacy work.

The program delivers individualized, adjusted reading instruction to bring students to grade level, especially the lowest level readers, teaching literacy lessons that can be applied to other curriculum areas, building student’s self-esteem and supporting and motivating students as they progress. (Scholastic.net)

Read 180 focuses on middle school, but Margery Mayer, the president of the education division told Education Week that Scholastic is “preparing to launch a version for high schools, while also working on professional-development programs to help all types of teachers advance students’ reading abilities.”

In 1994, research during development of the Read 180 program in Florida found that lack of reading skills was the root cause of failure and resulted in low self-esteem, embarrassment, defiance, discipline issues and truancy.

“These students have missed years of instruction. To close the gap, we need to
give them more,” said Dr. Jane Allen, Associate Professor of Education at the University of Central Florida.

Evaluation of the model program in Orange County, Florida showed extremely positive results: The 10,000 students who have participated in the project have gained, on average, two years growth in their reading grade level each year based on results from the Stanford Diagnostic Reading Test.

Education Week Article

Hanging with Harry Potter 

Harry Potter, Clifford the Big Red Dog and innovative reading programs like Literacy Place are among Scholastic Inc.’s major contributions to the American children’s reading movement. The 82-year-old New York City-based company remains at the forefront of education and literacy with its creative website and magazines and its focus on the research-based programs emphasized in No Child Left Behind.

One of only two remaining American-owned educational publishers, Scholastic Inc. has long encouraged student reading through classroom magazines, school book clubs and fairs, and popular books. The company moved quickly into the online market. It started with a teacher subscription site on America Online, and developed into what is now an all-encompassing resource on the Web.

Scholastic Inc.’s Web site

 

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