Kindergarten is the New First Grade in Texas

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Pearson offers first Kindergarten student reading edition as educators reach children earlier

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Kindergarteners come to school wanting their own little books. For this first time, this effort will give those children their own book to enjoy and appreciate.

As educators work to reach and teach children earlier, Pearson officials say Kindergarten is becoming the new first grade in Texas and they are making available to Texas schools the first-ever student book for kindergarteners, including digital materials for fun interactive reading practice.

The Texas State Board of Education has approved new instructional materials for Texas classrooms beginning in the 2010-2011 school year. Pearson's Scott Foresman Reading Street Texas will provide both print and digital instructional materials aligned to the state standards, the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS).

Pearson has a new Kindergarten student reading edition for the first time in Texas to help young children who respond to lively, interactive print materials make rapid academic progress. This collection of six volumes allows students to apply new skills and get ready to read. My Skills Buddy, designed to be a student companion to the classroom content taught by the teachers, is a handbook to help children use their newly acquired reading skills. Every day, Kindergarten students also will write about what they are reading.

"Texas educators have told us they understand that we must look at Kindergarten as the new first grade," said Raymond Ward, Pearson's Vice President for Texas. "Children are ready to learn to read earlier, and if we can reach them in Kindergarten and teach them the fundamentals of reading at that level, our students will have a much better chance to get on grade level and stay there, and become lifelong readers and learners. It's important, though, if children are going to develop a lifelong love of reading, we must make reading fun in Kindergarten. So at its heart, we've made sure that our new Kindergarten reading program is fun too."

Ward said "Kindergarteners come to school wanting their own little books. For this first time, this effort will give those children their own book to enjoy and appreciate."

Pearson teamed up with nationally renowned reading researchers and literature experts to develop Scott Foresman Reading Street Texas, including the new Kindergarten materials. Pearson turned to Texas educators to help write the new Reading Street program. The authors of Texas Reading Street and the Spanish version, Calle de la Lectura, include Dr. Antonio A. Fierro of the University of Texas at El Paso, Dr. Deborah Simmons of Texas A&M University, Dr. Sharon Vaughn of the University of Texas, Mary Esther Huerta of Texas State University, and Elena Izquierdo of the University of Texas at El Paso.

Texas educators also are excited that famed author Jon Scieszka, the First National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, brings his lovable Trucktown characters to Reading Street and Calle de la Lectura through a variety of literature. Weekly Get Set, Roll! readers allow children to practice the weekly phonics skill. Trucktown ABCs and the Big Book of Truckery Rhymes enchant and engage children while developing phonological awareness.

As Pearson works with Texas schools to transform Kindergarten into a more first-grade-like experience, they are offering educators the new Kindergarten package that includes My Skills Buddy, Independent Readers; the first-time-ever Kindergarten Student Readers, Listen to Me readers; Trucktown Get Set, Roll! readers; phonics activities, mats, AlphaBuddy Puppets; letter tiles, picture cards, tactile cards, alphabet cards, Talk with Me, Sing with Me flip charts, Phonics Songs and Rhymes flips charts, Truckery Rhymes Big and Little Books, and Trucktown ABCs.

From its developmentally appropriate rigorous curriculum to engaging digital animations and songs, Pearson's K-12 reading and literature instructional materials are scientifically researched and proven to be effective in the classroom.

More information about Pearson's new reading and literature instructional materials can be found at http://www.texasReadingstreet.com for elementary school grade levels and http://www.texasLiterature.com for middle and high school grades.

About Pearson and Texas
Pearson (NYSE:PSO) is Texas' leading provider of technology in the classroom and has been supplying 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, Literature, science, math, social studies, music, English as a second language, foreign languages, or AP courses, hundreds of thousands of Texas's pre-K 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.

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Kate Miller
(800) 745-8489

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