Award-Winning Children's Author Talks to Texas Teachers on Improving Students' Reading and Writing

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Special Sunday Session with Jon Scieszka Brings "Reading Fun" to Classroom; Integrating Technology Can Help Build Language Arts Skills

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Teachers can reverse the trend of falling reading and writing scores if they concentrate on making reading fun and meaningful for school children and integrate new technologies, the Library of Congress' National Ambassador for Young People's Literature will tell Texas educators at a statewide conference Sunday.

Jon Scieszka, popular children's writer and author for Pearson's K-12 Reading and English Language Arts instructional materials, will urge teachers and administrators to work harder to make reading enjoyable for school children to improve reading and writing performance, while also creating a lifelong love of reading.

The author of Caldecott Medal winner The Stinky Cheese Man, The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, and the Trucktown series of children's books, Scieszka has teamed up with Pearson to develop Scott Foresman Reading Street Texas(grades K-5) and Prentice Hall Literature Texas (grades 6-12), the newest instructional materials for reading and English classrooms customized specifically to new state standards.

"Our Texas kids are incredibly smart," said Scieszka, a former elementary school teacher. "But we're not doing enough to connect them with reading that inspires them to want to read more. So they are reading less. We can also do more to engage kids by expanding our definition of reading to embrace the internet and new technologies that are part of our kids' everyday lives."

Scieszka will issue his challenge to teachers and administrators from school districts across the state on Sunday, September 20, during the Texas Coalition of Reading and English Supervisors' conference in Austin. The session convenes at 3:30 p.m. at the Hilton Austin Airport on 9515 Hotel Drive, 78719.

Scieszka is renowned for his commitment to encouraging boys to read but says his philosophy pertains to girls too. He said, "If we can broaden the notion of what reading is, we'll have a better chance of inspiring children to want to be readers. This means expanding our definition of reading to include nonfiction, humor, comics, graphic novels, action-adventure, science fiction, magazines, websites and newspapers in school reading," Scieszka said. "Let boys (and girls) know that all these materials count as reading."     '

Pearson's Scott Foresman Reading Street Texas and Prentice Hall Literature Texas programs provide both print and digital instructional materials aligned to the new state college readiness standards and Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). Schools have been using existing reading programs since 2000. Beginning in 2010, schools throughout the state will be introducing new reading and literature programs that will be used in Texas classrooms for the next six to eight years.

More information about Jon Scieszka and Pearson's new reading and language arts instructional materials can be found at http://www.texasreadingstreet.com for elementary school grade levels and http://texasliterature.com for middle and high school grades.

About Pearson and Texas
Pearson (NYSE:PSO), the world's leading education publisher, has been providing education materials to Texas schools as far back as the 1800s. You may know us individually as Scott Foresman, Prentice Hall, Longman, SuccessMaker, NovaNet, PowerSchool, Educational Measurement, Educational Assessment, SuccessNet, Learning Teams, and so many more - names in the world of education that are recognized and respected across the State and the globe. In fact, most teachers in Texas have learned their profession by studying with Pearson's Merrill or Allyn & Bacon textbooks, and many have benefited from our professional development programs. We provide education and testing materials from birth through professional learning as well as the school systems that maintain student information data for thousands of schools. Our business offices are located in Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio, but our 2,000 Pearson people are living and working in every school district across the State. Whether in reading, language arts, science, math, social studies, music, English as a second language, foreign languages, or AP courses, hundreds of thousands of Texas's preK through college students are learning with our Pearson products every day. For more information, go to http://www.pearsonschool.com. In addition to Education, Pearson's other major businesses include The Financial Times Group and The Penguin Group, http://www.pearson.com.

Contact:

Kate Miller
800-745-8489
kate.miller (at) pearson (dot) com

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