I presently use the Reading Horizons program in a juvenile detention/treatment facility with participants from 13-17 years old. They seem to be much more in tune with the language of the narrators and the graphics used. One of the most amazing things is that they were not worn out, overworked, or bored with the program. They look forward to the daily lessons. Most of the participants were somewhat lost in the “regular” classes and became much more expressive and outgoing when in the reading class. They particularly looked forward to the Interim Test to see how much they had improved and progressed and also to be able to share their accomplishments with their peers and teachers.
I also feel that it has made me a more productive teacher. Instead of being tied up with preparation of materials for class, I am enjoying the work I do with the students, one-on-one. I use the program in small groups of one or two students in a small classroom. This makes it possible to have a lot of personal instruction with each student. They use the software for as long as it remains understandable and then can be tutored on any problems that may show up as they go through the lessons. I like the way the software controls the student’s progress. It simply will not let them fail or get out or sequence.
Since we secured the Reading Horizons program, it has been used on 10 different students for times from 2 to 8 months. The average growth per month has been 0.8 grade levels per month as measured by the pretest/posttest include in the software. I feel this is outstanding! One particular young man came to us with a reading grade level of K.8, dismissal, a posttest score of 4.9 was achieved. He was simply overjoyed! The same student found himself explaining decoding skills to other classmates and helping them correct spelling of words on reports. Even though his increase was below the average of others, he possibly got more than they did in self-esteem.
I am definitely an advocate of Reading Horizons. It has made a great difference in our reading program, but, more important, it has renewed my enthusiasm for what can be a thankless and difficult job. Thank You!