February 11, 2002

Columbus (Ohio) Public Schools Look for Help

English as a Second Language, Phonics, and Literacy

Reading Horizons, a Utah based Company, announces that Columbus (Ohio) Public Schools has purchased Reading Horizons courseware, based on the Discover Intensive Phonics for Yourself approach to reading, for 27 middle and high schools in the greater Columbus area. The primary motivation behind the purchase is the relocation of 30,000 families that are native to Somalia. This massive influx of ESL students prompted a search for educational courseware that would help the students learn to read, write, and spell in English.

Reading Horizons was chosen for its ability to provide a firm reading foundation. Focusing on the 42 Sounds of the Alphabet and helping students internalize those sounds is a crucial step in language acquisition. The state of Ohio proficiency test requires specified levels of reading ability before students are allowed to graduate from high school; students who are learning English as their second language are not exempt. The individualized approach employed byReading Horizons will allow students to work at their own pace and to repeat lesson material until they master the skills that are taught. ESL students who move in during their high school years will find the Reading Horizons program to be especially helpful, as they have less time to prepare for graduation. In 40 to 60 hours, they will learn the skills necessary to read and decode high school level words. The courseware will be made available in individual classrooms as well as labs throughout the schools.

About HEC Software, Inc./Reading Horizons

Founded in 1984, HEC Software, Inc./Reading Horizons is dedicated specifically to helping people learn to read so they can be better prepared to accomplish real life tasks they face every day and create opportunities to expand their horizons in the future. The Discover Intensive Phonics approach to reading is an explicit, systematic, multi-sensory approach to reading that starts at an absolute zero level of ability and guides students through the decoding of high school level words in as little as three to six months time. Reading Horizons offers direct instruction materials, computer courseware, and teacher-training workshops to assist students ranging in age from Kindergarten to adult.

The Reading Horizons courseware has proven to be an invaluable solution for older students with poor reading skills. Based on the Discover Intensive Phonics for Yourself system, it is simple, sequential, logical, and fast moving. Through instruction that includes the 42 Sounds of the Alphabet, Five Phonetic Skills, and two decoding skills, the student builds a strong foundation for reading and spelling. The computer courseware is accompanied with a complete human voice soundtrack. It begins at grade level 0, and because of the voice component, even complete nonreaders can successfully use the software. Upon completion, students can decode multi syllabic words at an 8th grade level or higher.

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