Learning Tools

Memphis Implements Technology-Based Reading Program

Memphis City Schools (MCS) will adopt two elementary reading programs produced by educational publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) as part of the district's preK-3 Learning Continuum. One of the 25 largest districts in the country, MCS enrolls approximately 117,000 students in more than 200 schools.

The two programs, Destination Reading and Bailey's Book House, were identified by the district as strong early reading complements to its Learning Continuum. Destination Reading aligns to Tennessee state standards and is designed to assess, prescribe, and engage young students to increase their reading proficiency. The software uses phonemic awareness, colorful visual presentations, engaging songs, and sound identification to introduce readers in pre-kindergarten through third grades to printed letters and letter combinations, as well as letter-sound correspondence. Bailey's Book House uses nine visually driven activities to help students explore letters and sounds, rhyming words, adjectives, text-symbol relationships, positional words, and sentence building.

"Providing young children with a solid foundation in literacy and mathematics in the first four years of their pre-collegiate education is the most important responsibility of Memphis City Schools," said Irving Hamer, MCS deputy superintendent for academic operations, technology, and innovations. "By partnering with HMH, Memphis City Schools is positioned to deliver enriched, aligned, and rigorous instructional content along with highly effective, value-added teaching, diagnostic and predictive data, and individualized tracking and monitoring."

HMH has also provided the district with three full-time educational experts to train MCS educators and offer additional hands-on professional development.

About the Author

Scott Aronowitz is a freelance writer based in Las Vegas. He has covered the technology, advertising, and entertainment sectors for seven years. He can be reached here.