Why did you choose to use Reading Horizons as the literacy program in your school/organization?
We choose Reading Horizons (RH) because it gave us the "why" behind many reading, spelling, and writing concepts. As a program we were finally able to explain to students why, for example, Kitten is spelled with the letter "K" and Cat is spelled with the "C". We learned the rule, "K" takes "I" and "E" and "C"C takes the other three (vowels), for example. Additionally, RH focused on multiple modalities. As a result, students can see, hear, and touch/feel when they are mastering reading skills. The marking system, symbols, and phonetic cues all assist in students' learning and it provides them with a multitude of methods to secure the information.
What kinds of results have you seen using Reading Horizons?
The results have been magnificent. In a 10-week time period students have increased, on average, 1/2 year grade level. It is amazing that in less than 12 weeks we have students go from not knowing letters or sounds to reading and spelling words. They are immediately empowered and enjoy the learning process that RH has created.
What is your favorite thing about Reading Horizons?
I love the hybrid learning curriculum. It is wonderful to have the stand up instruction but to be able to underscore stand up instruction with the computer based learning is great! Also, I love that an instructor or volunteer can pickup the teacher's manual and begin step by step instruction with a struggling or new reader. The manuals are easy to read and follow and provide amazing tips and tools to assist learners.
Of course the curriculum itself is second to none. When students' learn and really understand that the entire concept of reading is based on five (5) simple skills. It takes the intimidation out of reading and writing. They feel empowered and believe that they are capable of mastering this "reading thing" *smile*.
Is there a student story that stands out about a student that used the program (no names)?
We had a student who was sent to us by a local cosmetology school. She was unable to pass their entrance exam due to her reading deficiency. She started in our LEARN (Lessons, Encouragement, and Reading in our Neighborhood) class. The class is for adults who test at preliteracy-3rd grade reading level. She successfully completed that course and the RH program and was able to move to our EASE (Educational Assistance to Support Employability) class. This course is for adults who test at 4th grade to 6th grade educational level. Again, using the concepts and support of RH she successfully matriculated through this class. After about 6 months, I told her she was ready to start her career in cosmetology. With fear, trembling, and little bit of resistance, she went again to sit for the exam. She passed the test with a 95%. She immediately became a walking testimonial for our classes, the library, and of course the power of Reading Horizons. Now, because of her success, the school recommends students to the program on a weekly basis. RH helped to establish an amazing relationship with the institution. We are truly grateful.
Any other thoughts about the Reading Horizons program that you would like to add.
Thank you for creating a program that thinks about the student, the learner, the struggler. I love all the attention to details. Things like, changing to a male of female voice, having enlarged letters for computer use, and providing lots of feedback.
It is a joy to be a client and I am hopeful that we will follow the RH way for years to come.