What attracted me to Reading Horizons is that, even though we are adult education, we have students (at age) 16 years and older (who are) not connected to a school system. Many adults, even older adults, come in with a reading problem. They don't even have the ability to sound words out. Students (who) that read below ninth-grade level may come into our program. We do not put every student on the Reading Horizons system, but if they read from zero to fourth grade, they use the system. Students at levels zero and one get very excited about what they are learning. It is almost like immediate gratification when they run the lessons.
Sheryl, a student in her late 40s, says her life was a failure; she (felt that she) couldn't do anything (right). Now, I think she can read at a fourth-grade level, and I consider this to be a tremendous success. (She is only halfway through the course.) Several students have come into the program at a low level, and they have increased their abilities so that they could go into the GED class, which is at a ninth-grade level. I think that it is partially because of the Reading Horizons course. This is a skill builder, and if you did not learn it as a child, you need to learn it at whatever age you may be. Once you learn it, you have the ability to go and do whatever you want to.
Our program is an open-entry program, because you have to be able to respond to the students’ needs when they ask for help. We are not semester based, so we can register them whenever they enter the class. It is difficult for the teacher, Loralie, because you have to deal with each student as an individual, and the computer courseware allows her to do that with the low-level students. Many students cannot easily hear the sounds, but the program seems to help them recognize the different sounds.