March 28, 2005

Utah Schools Emphasize Phonics in Regular & After-School Curriculum

Phonics to the Rescue

Reading Horizons announced today that Granite High School (in Salt Lake City) and Adams and Ellis Elementary School (in Logan) recently purchased Discover Intensive Phonics with 21st Century Learning Center grant money.

According to Granite Principal Steve Hess, "Many of the kids we are getting in here are unprepared in their reading skills, which is so critical for success. We wanted a supplementary program beyond our normal offering that we could plug in to help get them up to speed. We will use it during the day and after school." Granite High serves a large ESL population that will especially benefit from the use of Discover Intensive Phonics. Kathy Sherman states that Ellis Elementary purchased Discover Intensive Phonics software to "help students who are struggling with reading." The software was purchased to assist teachers and tutors in effectively providing phonics instruction during regular and after-school classes.

Discover Intensive Phonics is an explicit, systematic, multi-sensory approach to reading. Adolescents and adult students are able to learn phonics by utilizing a combination of chalkboard and computer instruction. Students can start at an absolute 0 level of reading ability and in three to six months' time are able to decode high school level words. Reporting and tracking features have been designed into the computer courseware so teachers may monitor a student’s progress. Both schools anticipate significant increases in students' reading skills.

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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