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Press Release: Four Inspiring Teachers Named National READ 180® and System 44® Outstanding Educator Award Winners
Scholastic Honors Four Passionate Teachers Who Have Turned Students’ Lives Around by Helping Them Learn to Read
NEW YORK, NY — May 6, 2014 — Scholastic (NASDAQ: SCHL), the global children’s publishing, education and media company, today announced the recipients of the company’s prestigious READ 180® and System 44® Outstanding Educator Awards. The awards, now in their eighth year, recognize four incredible educators who have helped students turn their lives around by learning to read in READ 180 and System 44 reading intervention classrooms across the country.
Students of the 2014 Outstanding Educators have shown significant growth in reading achievement through the use of READ 180 and System 44, blended learning programs proven to raise reading achievement for struggling students in grades 3–12. Tasked with helping some of the country’s most at-risk students, these teachers have made it their mission to ensure all students succeed.
“At Scholastic, we believe so strongly in the power and impact a great teacher can have on the trajectory of a student’s life,” said Margery Mayer, President of Scholastic Education. “READ 180 and System 44 teachers have one of the most important jobs in our entire country — to help some of our most challenged and neediest students find success in school. It’s an honor to recognize these four Outstanding Educators for all that they do on behalf of children and our public schools.”
The Outstanding Educator Awards are determined by a Scholastic selection committee that reviews hundreds of nominations. Each nomination includes a statement about the educator by a colleague who has submitted the nomination, a statement by the educator, and a statement from a student about the impact the educator has had. The Outstanding Educators will each receive a $1,200 check, an all-expense-paid trip to the READ 180 National Summer Institute in Orlando, Florida, and a commemorative plaque. Additionally, the educators who nominated the 2014 Outstanding Educator Award winners will receive a READ 180 Xtra Collection for their classrooms.
The 2014 READ 180 Outstanding Educators are:
• Robert Greenough
Benjamin Franklin Elementary School, La Quinta, CA
Mr. Greenough relishes his job as a teacher tasked with helping his school’s most at risk readers catch back up to grade level. “I get to wake up every day and do something I love: Help kids become passionate and fluent readers,” he says.
In his six years as a READ 180 teacher, Mr. Greenough has had tremendous success, helping almost every one of his students reach proficiency in reading after a year in his fourth grade classroom. When his school considered expanding the use of READ 180 into fifth grade one year, it was decided they didn’t need it because it had been so successful at getting fourth-graders back to grade level.
His passion for reading and for connecting with every student is a huge reason for his success. To motivate his students, Mr. Greenough has created the “Greenough-Go-Getter” program that rewards students for meeting their goals. He shares his love of reading through a school-wide event called “Read the Most from Coast to Coast.”
Most of all, he’s a cheerleader for every one of his students, never going a day without offering high fives or applauding students’ hard work. “They know someone is in their corner and on their side,” he says.
“I realize my job is an important one and that 180 days of school is not a lot of time to turn things around for some of these kids, so I try to make the most out of every single day.”
• Kimberly Rogowsky
Brunswick Middle School, Brunswick, MD
Ms. Rogowsky’s determination to spark a love for reading and a desire to achieve in her students has made her a role model within her county. “Not only is she an excellent teacher for students, but also a teacher of other teachers,” explained colleague Amy Nedrow. “At the end of the day, Kim has played motivator, teacher, organizer and second mom to many of her students.”
As a reading intervention teacher, Ms. Rogowsky has worked for two years dedicating her time to helping at-risk readers using the READ 180 program. Whether she is taking time out of her day to conduct individual student conferences, tutoring during her school’s Extended Learning Time or posing interactive reading challenges to her entire class, Ms. Rogowsky tirelessly motivates her students to take their confidence and reading skills to the next level.
“I highly value a culture of mutual respect and building strong personal connections. I try to weave humor throughout my interactions and I encourage my students to value their learning and personal growth,” explained Ms. Rogowsky. Outside of the classroom, she continuously seeks opportunities to collaborate with colleagues and volunteered to host her county’s “READ 180 support group,” training teachers who are new to the READ 180 program.
• Angelique Kwabenah
District of Columbia Public Schools Incarcerated Youth Program, Washington, DC
Ms. Kwabenah’s success at helping at risk students learn to read would be remarkable in any educational setting, but it is especially notable considering where her school is located – in the DC Jail. Each year Ms. Kwabenah has taught READ 180, her students have exceeded the District of Columbia Public Schools’ annual learning goals – a remarkable task since most of her students enter the program two or three grade levels behind. “Ms. Kwabenah not only motivates and encourages her students, she inspires them to want to be life-long readers and lovers of literature and learning,” said colleague Bianca Thompson.
As a teacher in the District of Columbia Public Schools Incarcerated Youth Program, Ms. Kwabenah arrives at work at 4:30 a.m. everyday so she is able to meet with students and provide encouragement before their court trials. She coordinates activities such poetry slams and monthly writing contests to help reluctant students who are facing long sentences feel more at ease and become excited about education. In addition, Ms. Kwabenah purchases newspapers, magazines and books with her own money as incentives for her students.
The 2014 System 44 Outstanding Educator is:
• Leslie Harrelson
J.O. Kelly Middle School, Springdale, AZ
As someone who struggled to learn to read herself, Mrs. Harrelson made it her goal in life to become a reading teacher. Having taught System 44 for more than four years, Mrs. Harrelson encourages her students to take charge of their learning and never give up. She was a driving force behind a collaboration with fellow educators and leaders in her district, created to determine the best approach for meeting the needs of all students. Through that effort, she was instrumental in the narrowing of the achievement gap in both mathematics and literacy at J.O Kelly Middle School.
A high expectation for both academics and behavior is the guiding principle for Mrs. Harrelson’s classroom. Her students, many of whom once struggled with language barriers and have mostly experienced failure in the past, are now leaders in the classroom and athletic fields. “Mrs. Harrelson encouraged me to read when I was ready to give up and talked to me about how I’ll need reading in the future,” said one of her students. “I told her I wanted to be a soccer player, so she asked me how I was going to read the contract. That’s when everything clicked.”
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About Scholastic System 44®:
System 44 is a proven foundational reading and phonics intervention technology program for our most at-risk readers in Grades 3–12+. System 44 helps students master the foundational reading skills required for success with the Common Core through explicit instruction in comprehension and writing and a personalized learning progression driven by technology.
About Scholastic READ 180®:
READ 180, the most effective system for raising student achievement in grades 4-12+, has been significantly updated to meet the rigorous reading and writing expectations of the new standards. READ 180 includes more rigor throughout, new grade-level text, new text-dependent questions, more nonfiction, new performance-based assessments and a new Writing Zone—all available for iPad™.