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Four Educators Receive Learning Ally's 2020 Winslow Coyne Reitnouer Excellence in Education Award for Exemplary Performance in U.S. Schools
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July 22, 2020 by Learning Ally

PRINCETON, N.J. (PRWEB) JUNE 30, 2020

Learning Ally is excited to announce the recipients of its 2020 Winslow Coyne Reitnouer Excellence in Education Award, a national achievement award named for a longtime advocate for helping struggling readers reach their potential.

Learning Ally’s mission is to transform the lives of struggling learners by providing educators with proven solutions that enable students to reach their academic potential. In a time when distance learning is necessary, the Learning Ally Audiobook Solution has become a crucial teacher resource that allows struggling readers to work independently at home and keep up with course work. This award honors educators in U.S. schools who embody our mission.

Today we recognize four educators--and for the first time, a school--who have, despite the current challenges, provided exemplary opportunities for their students with reading deficits to achieve both inside and outside of the classroom.

Terrie Noland, Learning Ally’s VP of Educator Initiatives, offered congratulations to this year’s nominees and winners, saying, “In the face of unprecedented challenges, you stepped up and made a difference. The circumstances of this school year could have written a tragic story for many students, particularly those who struggle to read. Your dedication to education excellence has made all the difference, and we couldn’t be more proud of you.”

A national selection committee chose this year’s award winners from a pool of hundreds of nominees.

The 2020 Winslow Coyne Reitnouer Excellence in Education Award Winners are:

Maria Arcodia, General Education Teacher at Brooklyn Arbor Elementary School, New York, NY

Ms. Arcodia, the mother of a student with dyslexia and visual impairment, has made it her goal to ensure all of her students develop a love of reading--even when learning to read--no matter what challenge or disability they face. She has been extremely proactive in her efforts to secure reading accommodations for her school, creating an educator and parent coalition to secure funding from charitable sources. She has held workshops for parents so they know to help their kids use accommodations at home and has even helped fellow teachers advocate for accommodations to support their students who attend other schools. She is currently completing work to become a certified Orton-Gillingham instructor so she can ensure all her students succeed at reading.

Julie Gutman, Director of Special Education at Lake Orion Community School District, MI

Ms. Gutman and her district have been recognized by local, state, and international organizations for their student successes in reading instruction and achievement. Her leadership and hard work have led to the development of many high impact programs that continue to have positive impacts on student outcomes, including 90% of the district’s elementary students reading at or above grade-level reading.

Susan Ketterer, Dyslexia Specialist at Cross Oaks Elementary School, Cross Roads, TX

Ms. Ketterer is a strong advocate for all students who struggle to read and has helped restructure her district’s dyslexia department procedures, policies, and communications. She creates a healthy environment for reading and learning with audiobooks among her students and takes time to share and educate other teachers about the resources available to them. She has also worked closely with parents in an effort to encourage and support their participation.

Kevin Wright, General Education Teacher at Clarendon Avenue School, Mukwonago, WI

Mr. Wright has long championed the use of assistive technology to support the reading development of students who struggle with decoding. Having partnered with his school’s speech pathologist to identify new and better tools, his success, including improved test scores, has become a model for his district and led to his school being awarded “exceeds expectation” on their state report card two years in a row.

Park Vista High School, Lake Worth, FL

Park Vista HS presents a model for successfully creating an atmosphere that fosters inclusiveness and learning for all students, including those with reading deficits. The school encourages students to participate in their IEP meetings and provides academic counselors to discuss course work and other concerns, making them active participants in their education. They require all teachers to take dyslexia overview training and provide the Learning Ally Audiobook Solution to all qualifying students, even those taking technical classes. Their success has led a number of neighboring schools to try to emulate their model.


Support Your Students with Reading Deficits with the Learning Ally Audiobook Solution

The Learning Ally Audiobook Solution is a multi-sensory reading accommodation that levels the playing field for students who struggle to read due to a reading deficit, providing them the opportunity to achieve in school and in life. Gaining access to the books they want to read—and the books they need to read—in an easy-to-absorb format can be a game changer. Sign up for a demo or get more information today to experience the satisfaction of seeing students who have never before experienced reading success blossom, with improved grades, higher test scores, and increased confidence and self-esteem.

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The Learning Ally Audiobook Solution Wins the Academics' Choice Award
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June 11, 2020 by Julie Heaton

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Students with learning differences, including dyslexia, make up a large population of today's learners. These students often suffer undue hardships academically and in their social and emotional wellbeing due to reading challenges in decoding, comprehension and fluency skills. With the right strategies and resources, like the Learning Ally Audiobook Solution, more learners can reach their full academic potential and work on their intellectual level. The goal is to help more educators bridge the achievement gap by giving students the opportunity to read grade-level and interesting age appropriate audiobooks, while receiving essential and direct evidence-based reading instruction from their teacher or specialist.

This multi-award-winning solution encompasses a proven reading accommodation with built-in classroom features that students with learning disabilities need and want; access to a quality digital library of curriculum-aligned educational textbooks, literature and popular titles, all narrated by skilled professionals, subject experts, voice artists, authentic authors and passionate volunteers who engage students at their grade-level and age appropriateness. The multisensory reading experience enables students to (see and hear and be enveloped in a story or text) with correct prosody while reading for school and for pleasure. Skills are naturally boosted in comprehension, fluency, vocabulary and critical thinking. For anytime, anywhere reading, Learning Ally's mobile app has built-in classroom features and tools that enable students to more comprehensively complete reading assignments in a timely manner all in one app. A suite of professional development resources for teachers include accountability data on students' reading progress, insightful information on students' reading preferences and ready-to-implement reading activities that complement classroom learning and motivate students to read all year long.

Videos:
You-Tube Main Channel
Middle School Teacher Laura Younts
Demo of Human Narration
Dana Blackaby Dyslexia Specialist
Lori Ayres Special Education Teacher


Support Your Students with Reading Deficits with the Learning Ally Audiobook Solution

The Learning Ally Audiobook Solution is a multi-sensory reading accommodation that levels the playing field for students who struggle to read due to a reading deficit, providing them the opportunity achieve in school and in life. Gaining access to the books they want to read—and the books they need to read—in an easy-to-absorb format can be a game changer. Sign up for a demo or get more information today to experience the satisfaction of seeing students who have never before experienced reading success blossom, with improved grades, higher test scores and increased confidence and self-esteem.

Read More about The Learning Ally Audiobook Solution Wins the Academics' Choice Award

Learning Ally's "Summer Reading Together" Program Helps Turn Summer Slide into Summer Success
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June 9, 2020 by Julie Heaton

June 9, 2020, Princeton, NJ -- Learning Ally, a nonprofit, mission-based organization dedicated to transforming the lives of struggling learners, has kicked off Summer Reading Together, a fun, engaging program designed to keep students with reading deficits reading all summer long. 

This program is very timely, as it will help alleviate the learning loss students experience over the summer. On average, students spend six weeks every fall relearning material that has been forgotten, and this year, the problem is likely to be exacerbated, particularly for struggling readers, due to the disruption of classroom learning because of CV-19.

The Learning Ally Audiobook Solution Summer Reading Together program is designed to keep students with reading deficits reading and engaged, limiting those potential learning losses. Students can select titles from the largest library of human-read audiobooks with highlighted text -- including all the popular fiction books and series their friends and classmates are reading. Even if they are reading below their grade level, audiobooks make it easy for students to access content at their intellectual level while building foundational skills in comprehension, vocabulary and critical thinking.

Terrie Noland, Learning Ally's V.P. of Educator Initiatives, says "Learning loss disproportionately affects the children who need to read the most -- struggling reader. Our rewards-based program is "ready-to-implement" for teachers. It has popular book choices that students will love, and the human narration in our audiobooks immerses children in a story, a new world or even an adventure."

The program includes a take-home packet for parents and families so they can make sure students stay on track, including:

  • Engaging activities, a helpful tracking calendar, a social media challenge and a reading certificate
  • Instructions to use the free Learning Ally Audiobooks mobile app at home
  • Grade-appropriate summer reading lists
  • Mini 'take-home' lesson plan designed to build reading comprehension and motivation
Twenty top prizes are awarded to students for their efforts and a social media component enters them in a random drawing to win a $100 digital gift card. 
 
Over 20,000 student members participate annually in Learning Ally's reading engagement programs, including its signature national reading competition -- The Great Reading Games. The nonprofit also annually recognizes exemplary administrators, teachers and students nominated by their peers with financial scholarships. 
 
Summer Reading Together launches on June 1 and ends August 31, 2020. 
 
Contact Learning Ally at 800-221-1098 and schedule a demo at www.LearningAlly.org/educators.
 

About Learning Ally

Learning Ally is a leading nonprofit education solutions organization dedicated to equipping educators with proven solutions that help new and struggling learners reach their potential. Our range of literacy-focused offerings for students Pre-K to 12th grade and catalog of professional learning allows us to support more than 99,000 educators across the US. The Learning Ally Audiobook Solution is our cornerstone award-winning reading accommodation used in more than 17,500 schools to help students with reading deficits succeed. Composed of high quality, human-read audiobooks and a suite of teacher resources to monitor and support student progress, it is designed to turn struggling readers into engaged learners. For more information, visit LearningAlly.org
 

Support Your Students with Reading Deficits with the Learning Ally Audiobook Solution

The Learning Ally Audiobook Solution is a multi-sensory reading accommodation that levels the playing field for students who struggle to read due to a reading deficit, providing them the opportunity achieve in school and in life. Gaining access to the books they want to read—and the books they need to read—in an easy-to-absorb format can be a game changer. Sign up for a demo or get more information today to experience the satisfaction of seeing students who have never before experienced reading success blossom, with improved grades, higher test scores and increased confidence and self-esteem.

Read More about Learning Ally's "Summer Reading Together" Program Helps Turn Summer Slide into Summer Success

"Education is a right, not a privilege", read our statement from Learning Ally CEO
Learning Ally CEO Andrew Friedman

June 5, 2020 by Learning Ally

The events over the past few weeks have given me and the Learning Ally staff pause for reflection. In line with our values, diversity and inclusion are a fundamental premise of everything we do. We have no tolerance for racism or discrimination of any kind.

We believe education plays an important role in stamping out racism and discrimination.. Over the past 70 years Learning Ally has had a consistent purpose, which is for all people to have an equal and equitable opportunity to learn and succeed. We continue to believe education is a RIGHT not a privilege. In today’s environment it is incredibly important we do better for our most vulnerable populations, including students of color, low socio-economic status, English Language Learners and those with physical and learning disabilities.

Our goal is apparent, not just in our words but the actions we take. We are committed to helping educators understand how students learn and equip them with the best instructional practices to meet their needs and the needs of their students, especially those who are chronically underserved, to improve literacy and learning outcomes. We are working with leading institutions across the country, including UCSF and MIT to develop state-of-the art student assessments mapped to interventions and accommodations, all supported by robust communities of professional learning.

Our dedication to equitable access to education for ALL students is unwavering. We are committed to doing more and doing better.

Andrew Friedman


President and CEO Learning Ally

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Keep Students Reading at Home to Limit Summer Learning Loss and the COVID Slide!
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May 26, 2020 by Julie Heaton

Summer learning loss. It's real, and this year it’s likely to be amplified by the effects of disruptions in classroom learning. You can help limit it by ensuring your students continue to read all summer long with the Learning Ally Audiobook Solution.

We’ve provided these handy guides for both parents and students to make sure they know how to get started at home. They offer simple, easy-to-understand instructions for downloading the Learning Ally Audiobooks App, adding audiobooks to their personal bookshelf, and downloading the books directly to their devices so they can read anytime, anywhere.

Let them choose!

Having students read their required summer reading list with the Learning Ally Audiobook Solution is a great way to ensure they start the school year strong, but it is also important that they get a chance to read the stories they choose. In fact, Learning Ally research shows that when a student self-selects a book, they are 6x more likely to read that book than when it has been added by a teacher.

This discovery corroborates reading research data. Self-selection of texts is one of the most consistent strategies found amongst student motivation in reading research. Choice allows students to take control over their own learning and is an effective way to support the development of motivation when a student can read something that is of interest to them rather than assigned to them (Applegate et al., 2010; Cabral- Marquez, 2015; Fisher et al., 2018; Gambrell, 2011; Gambrell, 2015; Senn, 2012).

Learning doesn’t end when the school year does, so make sure your struggling readers are prepared before school ends. Send home the guide today!

Download the guide! 

Getting Started Infographic Parent Version

Download the student version

New to Learning Ally?

The Learning Ally Audiobook Solution is an essential reading accommodation designed to bridge the gap between what a student can comprehend and what they can understand, allowing them to read independently and keep up with grade-level expectations. Featuring the largest audiobook library of its kind and a suite of reporting and progress monitoring tools for educators, it takes the stress out of reading and helps you keep them engaged and excited about learning.

Learn More Today!

Read More about Keep Students Reading at Home to Limit Summer Learning Loss and the COVID Slide!