Charlotte Lockhart, nicknamed the Biphonic Woman, was an exemplary educator and role model with a passion for teaching the world to read. She dedicated her time and money to creating the Discover Intensive Phonics for Yourself reading system and spent many years tutoring individual students, training teachers, and educating parents on her method.
The Orton-Gillingham based method Lockhart created is now the foundation of the entire Reading Horizons system. To honor her legacy, Reading Horizons has established the Charlotte F. Lockhart Award for Excellence in Literacy Education (“Lockhart Award,”) to be granted to institutions or individuals who exemplify the characteristics and core values Lockhart embodied and embraced.
April 2017 - Haleyville Elementary School
"In the fall of 2015, HES implemented Reading Horizons in all kindergarten and 1st grade classrooms. Prior to the mid-point of the school year, teachers were already seeing the tremendous strides their students were making in comparison to years past. The results were so significant that our teachers were adamant the program be extended into 2nd grade. In the fall of 2016, we began the successful implementation of Reading Horizons in our 2nd grade classrooms. According to our most recent progress monitoring, 100% of our kindergarten students are on target in reading; over 70% of both 1st and 2nd grade students have demonstrated improvement in reading since the fall benchmark. HES is excited to continue with program expansion into 3rd grade classrooms beginning in the fall of 2017.
HES has been extremely pleased with the results of Reading Horizons. It has changed our entire school climate, and we want to shout its praises from the rooftops! We want other schools to know about this amazing reading program because all students, not just ours, should be able to reap the benefits it has to offer. Our teachers have promoted this program to surrounding schools and have advocated for Reading Horizons to countless other teachers and administrators in neighboring counties. After each demonstration, the teachers and administration have been impressed and eager to learn more about it.
Since implementing Reading Horizons, we have seen student success and interest in reading soar, along with their confidence and belief in themselves. Our teachers now have a renewed passion and vigor and because of these strategies, they feel fully equipped to lay the reading foundation. With the ability to read comes knowledge, and knowledge is power. Literacy is an invaluable, lifelong tool. Reading Horizons has reinvigorated and inspired both our teachers and students here at Haleyville Elementary. Our classrooms are now filled with confidence and a renewed passion for learning."
- Christy Bice, Haleyville Elementary School Principal
When considering potential recipients for the Lockhart Award, Reading Horizons focuses on these traits:
Always Serving. Whether as a student, in the military, as an administrator, as a mother, or as a tutor, Lockhart believed in the value of serving others, regardless of life circumstance. Countless hours were dedicated to one-on-one sessions with children who needed extra help, and she gave that time gladly.
Overcoming Obstacles. Lockhart was initially prohibited from teaching because she was a married woman. She did it anyway, taking on 23 students over 7 grades in a rural Illinois school. Later she joined the military to serve in WWII among the first female Navy recruits. When her school needed coaches, she took up the job and headed both basketball and baseball as a busy principal. Charlotte always got things done, even when the challenge was great.
Literacy Focus. During her teaching career, Lockhart was increasingly worried about the tragedy of illiteracy. She saw how much reading struggles could disrupt the life of a student and even while serving as a principal worked as a private tutor to students who needed help learning to read. Her life mission became increasingly focused on literacy. By the end of her life’s journey she had worked with thousands of students.
Dedication and Passion. Decades after her 1972 retirement, Lockhart continued to tutor, teach, and train with the same level of passion as her first day in the classroom. When she was disappointed with the reading materials offered to her students, she created her own curriculum. Her personality was large and her lasting impact even larger.
Commitment to Education. Beyond the world of workbooks and games, Lockhart developed a method that taught vital decoding skills. Literacy organizations worldwide were beneficiaries of some of her countless volunteer hours, ensuring teachers became better teachers. She did more than instruct. She educated.
Loving Heart. Above all else, Lockhart exuded love. Her students remember her as a smiling teacher. Her staff remember her as an inspiring leader.
Reading Horizons is grateful to be able to carry on her legacy and hopes this award will recognize those who strive to improve literacy in their corner of the world.
Would you like to nominate a teacher, school, or district for the Lockhart Award? Apply here.