Homer Learning, Children’s Media Company, to Bridge Literacy Gap by Making App to Teachers for No Cost

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Award-winning children's media company, Homer Learning, to scale high quality literacy instruction through digital technology by offering services to teachers with no cost

Stephanie Dua, Founder and CEO of Homer Learning (http://www.learnwithhomer.com) the global children’s media company, announced at the Global Silicon Valley Summit in San Diego that the company will offer its award-winning Learn-to-Read program for no cost to teachers and librarians across the globe in 2016, a development that will make it possible for thousands of teachers and millions of children to access a high-quality digital literacy resource shown to significantly improve student literacy outcomes. The free resource becomes available to all verified educators.

Dua says of the company’s mission to make the Learn-to-Read product available for no cost to educators: “We created Homer to solve a confounding problem: teaching the world’s children to read by bringing together the best research on what is proven to work and delivering that using mobile technology. Homer is a disruptively affordable, simple-to-use, start-to-finish reading program that children can use effectively without the need for adult supervision.”

By offering the program free to teachers and librarians, Dua and her colleagues aim to “make good on a long-held company value: to reach as many children as possible regardless of zip code or economic status. Making Homer available to teachers and librarians for free, we are able to directly touch the lives of the children they serve so meaningfully every day.” Already, Homer is being used in more than 10,000 classrooms in the US alone. “Homer for Educators was developed with the benefit of two years of feedback from teacher users,” says Britt Myers, Homer’s co-founder and Chief of Product.

Dua and her team, many of whom are well-known educators themselves, wanted to set a new standard in educational app development. They agreed early on to have Homer tested for efficacy by Susan B. Neuman, a leading literacy researcher and the Former US. Assistant Secretary of Education. The results were stunning – children working alone for just 15 minutes a day over 6 weeks nearly doubled scores on the Test of Preschool Early Literacy. For more information, visit: http://www.steinhardt.nyu.edu/site/ataglance/2015/04/literacy-app-improves-school-readiness-in-at-risk-preschoolers-finds-study-by-steinhardt-researchers.html

Recently mentioned in the 2015 book, “Tap, Click, Read: Growing Readers in a World of Screens” by Lisa Guernsey and Michael Levine, Homer has been held up by some of the country’s top literacy experts as a rare example of a learning app that has been tested to ensure that it does what it says it can do: improve children’s ability to read.

When asked to comment on the significance of her recent study evaluating the efficacy of Homer, Dr. Neuman said, “I'm now convinced that there are certain skills that can be taught – and taught more efficiently — through technology.” A preliminary report released in March, and reported by the International Dyslexia Association, showed that mobile devices hold great promise to scale literacy learning to children who either do not have access to school or attend a vastly under-resourced school. More information can be found at http://www.eida.org/the-curiosities-of-using-mobile-devices-for-literacy-instruction/

Today’s announcement will make it possible for Homer to test its strong belief that literacy outcomes can be scaled when teachers and families have access to quality content delivered via intuitive and widely-available technology. http://www.learnwithhomer.com/teachers

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Jordan Rector
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