Headsprout Early Reading Program Selected By Memphis City Schools For All 1st Grade Students

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Leading Scientifically Developed Online Reading Program Guarantees Grade-Level Reading Skills for More Than 8,700 First Grade Students In All 112 Memphis City Schools

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We're very pleased and excited to be a trusted partner in the Memphis City Schools' unwavering commitment to help their students learn to read

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Memphis City Schools, the 24th largest school district in the U.S., has selected Headsprout Early Reading for all of its 8,718 First Grade students. In addition to accessing Headsprout Early Reading's 80 online lessons, each student will receive his/her own set of the 80 printed stories that accompany the lessons. The implementation involves more than 500 classrooms across 112 Memphis elementary schools. Headsprout Early Reading complements the other literacy programs currently being used in the Memphis City Schools and supports Superintendent Kriner Cash's key initiatives of a comprehensive and seamless K-12 Literacy Plan.

According to Dr. Irving Hamer, Deputy Superintendent of Academic Operations, Technology & Innovation, "Closing the achievement gap in our urban school systems is a challenge. To meet that challenge, we must accelerate the rate of learning for all students and particularly for our most challenged students. Not only does Headsprout meet that challenge by helping to get students reading at grade level in 30 hours of instruction, but they also stand behind their program with a money-back performance guarantee."

With a track record of proven reading results success in school districts across the country, the Headsprout Early Reading program dramatically improves phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension, all vital to a reader's success. Headsprout Early Reading offers a unique adaptive experience for each learner because its patented Sprout Learning Technology immediately adjusts to each student's reading strengths and weaknesses. As the child proceeds through the lessons, the technology adapts to his/her individual performance, ensuring success for every student. Lessons average 20 minutes and are available from any Internet-connected computer with minimal training required for teachers. Children complete each lesson independently.

"We're very pleased and excited to be a trusted partner in the Memphis City Schools' unwavering commitment to help their students learn to read," said Dave Anderson, Headsprout CEO. "We also recognize and respect the economic challenges schools and districts across the country are facing today. As with all of our customers, we will stand shoulder to shoulder with Memphis and share accountability for student success - each First Grader will read at grade level after completing the program, or Headsprout will refund the cost of the program for that student."

Headsprout, the publisher of Headsprout Early Reading, is willing to share accountability because of the unique development process it undertook in designing this program, testing it with hundreds of beginning readers, one at a time. If the students did not meet the established learning objectives, the program was revised until each student did. As a result of this process, Headsprout's Student Performance Guarantee becomes self-evident. Simply stated, each Kindergarten or First Grade student who completes Headsprout Early Reading will be reading at grade level, or the school gets its money back.

"Our goal is to partner with Headsprout to implement Headsprout Early Reading with fidelity. The goal is for 75% to 80% of our First Grade students to be reading at or above grade level by the end of the school year," said Linda Kennard, Director of PreK-12 Literacy, Memphis City Schools. "After extensive evaluation through our district pilot, we recognize Headsprout's research-developed program performs as an equivalent to a personal reading tutor, giving students specialized individual attention in addition to what the structured classroom environment is able to provide."

About Headsprout
Headsprout was founded in 1999 by a team who has spent the last 20 years improving education for young children. Headsprout's Sprout Learning Technology, which powers Headsprout Early Reading, provides a low-cost, easy-to-use instructional solution for reliably teaching fundamental literacy skills. Headsprout's mission is to be a major force in helping eliminate illiteracy in young children in this country in this decade, by making its Sprout Learning Technology available for children everywhere through the Internet. Headsprout is a privately-held company based in Seattle, WA. For more information about Headsprout, please visit their website at http://www.headsprout.com.

Contacts:
Victoria Burwell
Headsprout
800.401.5062 X1600; vburwell @ headsprout.com

Press:
Cherie Le Penske
LP Group
206.420.2490; cherie @ lpgmedia.com

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Victoria Burwell

Cherie Le Penske
LP Group
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