Kentucky District Implements Early Reading Program

The Boone County, KY, School District has approved the Headsprout Early Reading (HER) program for all kindergartners and first-graders in the district. BCSD has used IDEA and ARRA federal stimulus funding to purchase a five-year site license for the 80-lesson program.

Based in Florence, KY, the district currently enrolls more than 3,000 pupils in these grades, and it aims to elevate them all to a mid 2nd-grade reading level as a result of their completion of HER, including students struggling with reading, for whom the district will employ the program's Response to Intervention materials.

Because Headsprout offers a money-back guarantee of success, assuring that all students who complete the program satisfactorily will be reading at a mid 2nd-grade level, BCSD said it sees it as a safe investment. But Assistant Superintendent for Learning Support Services Karen Cheser said there's another reason the district is enthusiastic about Headsprout. She said she has seen the results first-hand, noting that "One student in Tier 2 of Response to Intervention increased from 30 words per minute to 96 and is now on grade level--in just 3 months!"

The HER program complies with the requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind Act, and Headsprout also customizes the program to meet individual state requirements. A company spokesperson attributed the success and popularity of the program to the specialized technology, which adapts to each student's individual performance and advancement, and to the ease of learning and use by teachers.

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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.